Maclaren slots home match winner in extra time

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Melbourne City’s Jamie Maclaren stole the show yet again by scoring in the dying minutes to claim a 3-2 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.

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The Wanderers gave up an early lead to suffer their first defeat at Bankwest Stadium in a fiery encounter to competition frontrunners Melbourne City.

City held the majority of possession but it was the Red and Black who posed a more significant threat going forward early on.

The hosts were off to a dream start two minutes in as Kwame Yeboah thundered home a stunning team move involving Mitchell Duke and Bruce Kamau from close range to make it 1-0.

The side’s momentum continued as Yeboah looked to set up his captain Duke with a superb cross-field ball but the striker’s low header was kept out by a smart Dean Bouzanis save.

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Josh Brilliante forced Daniel Lopar into his first save of the night after 22 minutes, unleashing a rocket from the edge of the area. One the Swiss custodian acrobatically tipped over the bar.

The competition leaders continued to work their way back into the contest and on the half an hour mark Scott Galloway cut inside and lashed an effort narrowly wide of the mark.

The home crowd were then back on their feet with five minutes remaining in the half as Duke was played through into a pocket of space, however, his goal-bound effort was deflected to safety via his teammate Nicolai Muller.

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They came close to doubling their lead a few minutes later as Kamau laid the ball off to Daniel Georgievski, whose long-range curling strike was clawed away by Bouzanis.

Ten minutes into the second half City were granted an opportunity to restore parity from the penalty spot after Pirmin Schwegler was adjudged to have dragged down Denis Genreau.

Maclaren made no mistake in slotting it straight down the middle, registering his 18th goal in 12 games for the club and to even the score 1-1.

The Socceroos marksman then turned provider in the 74th minute as City tipped the contest on its head by making it 2-1.

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A turnover high up the pitch allowed for Maclaren to sweep a precise low cross along the six-yard box towards an onrushing Brilliante, who duly converted from close range.

The strike was the former Sydney FC midfielder’s first goal for his new club, however, his efforts were to be cancelled out by his old cross-town rivals with ten minutes to play.

A Georgevski cross was expertly nodded down by substitute Alex Meier into the path of Yeboah, who secured his second goal of the evening with another powerful strike to make it 2-2.

Deep into injury time, a City counter-attack fell to substitute Lachlan Wales, who created a perfect platform for Maclaren to do what he does best.

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The striker’s ninth A-League goal of the season ultimately proved the difference for City to win 3-2 and extend their lead on top of the A-League with a gritty comeback victory.

Western Sydney Wanderers: 2 (Yeboah 2’, 80’)

Melbourne City: 3 (Maclaren 56’, 92′ Brilliante 73’)

Stadium: Bankwest Stadium
Attendance: 12,078

Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referees: Scott Edeling and Kearney Robinson
Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas
VAR: Kris Griffith-Jones

Western Sydney Wanderers: Daniel LOPAR (GK), Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, Dylan MCGOWAN, Patrick ZIEGLER, Daniel WILMERING, Pirmin SCHWEGLER, Nicholas SULLIVAN (Keanu BACCUS 58’), Kwame YEBOAH, Bruce KAMAU, Nicolai MULLER (Alexander MEIER 76’), Mitchell DUKE (c)

Unused Subs: Nick SUMAN (GK), Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS, Kostandinos GROZOS, Tate RUSSELL, Mohamed ADAM, Tarek ELRICH

Melbourne City: Dean BOUZANIS (gk) Scott GALLOWAY, Scott JAMIESON (c), Harrison DELBRIDGE, Curtis GOOD, Josh BRILLANTE, Rostyn GRIFFITHS, Denis GENREAU (Adrian LUNA 71’), Javier CABRERA (Nathaniel ATKINSON 79’), Jamie MACLAREN, Craig NOONE (Lachlan WALES 64’)

Unused Subs: Tom GLOVER (gk), Ramy NAJJARINE, Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER, Idrus ABDULAHI

Feature image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Chris Curulli
Chris Curulli
Passionate Sports Media student and all round football obsessive, covering the Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2019/20 season.

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