Melbourne City and Wanderers play out six-goal thriller

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A Sunday afternoon belter took place at AAMI Park as Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers ultimately shared the points in a 3-3 draw.

Despite City’s positive play in the opening minutes, it was the Wanderers who landed the first blow. Seemingly from nowhere, a long-range James Troisi strike fired into the bottom corner after five minutes, giving the visitors an early lead.

Western Sydney have been nothing short of disastrous this season, so when Jack Rodwell scored a second just minutes later, a stunned silence descended upon AAMI Park. Rodwell’s strike went in off the post, leaving Tom Glover once again powerless to stop it as City fell to a shock two-goal deficit within the first 10 minutes.

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City didn’t take long to respond, with Dimitri Petratos inadvertently putting the ball into his own net under pressure from Scott Galloway.

The game settled for the next 20 minutes, as both sides attempted to settle into their regular patterns of play.

City though grabbed the equaliser in the 36th minute, when a Jamie Maclaren header following a corner made the score 2-2. The goal was Maclaren’s eighth against the Wanderers in six appearances for City, following a passage of questionable set-piece defending as Maclaren leapt above the likes of Rodwell and Rhys Williams to win the header.

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City should have taken the lead on the cusp of half-time, as a clever corner routine resulted in Maclaren having a tap-in to the open net, but the striker failed to make any meaningful contact with the ball.

The first half finished 2-2 in what was an exhilarating first 45.

The Wanderers looked like the better team in the early stages of the second half, generating multiple attempts on goal with Steven Ugarkovic the creative wizard from midfield.

Against the run of play though, City hit the front. Substitute Marco Tilio unleashed another long-range belter from a similar position to Troisi’s goal in the first half, making the score 3-2.

The game took yet another twist though when Ugarkovic delivered another incredible ball to put through Keijiro Ogawa, as the Japanese attacker calmly finished to make it 3-3 on 68 minutes.

Both sides could have snatched the win in the last 20 minutes, as the Sunday evening crowd was treated to a flurry of goal-mouth action.

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An end-to-end ALM classic ultimately finished 3-3. City will be pleased with the way they recovered from an early two-goal deficit, but can feel somewhat fortunate to have come away with a point. Western Sydney put out a significantly improved performance relative to the rest of their season and have given themselves something to build on in the coming weeks.

Melbourne City 3 (OG Petratos 16′, Maclaren 36’, Tilio 60’)

Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Troisi 5’, Rodwell 9’, Ogawa 68’)

AAMI Park

Referee: Alex King
Assistant Referees: Anton Shchetinin & Ashley Beecham                                           Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro

Melbourne City: Thomas GLOVER (GK), Scott GALLOWAY, Scott JAMIESON (c), Nuno REIS, Rostyn GRIFFITHS, Mathew LECKIE, Aiden O’NEILL, Jamie MACLAREN, Florin BERENGUER (Marco TILIO 56’), Andrew NABBOUT, Connor METCALFE
Unused subs: James NIEUWENHUIZEN (GK), Stefan COLAKOVSKI, Manuel PUCCIARELLI, Kerrin STOKES, Jordan BOS, Anthony LESIOTIS

Western Sydney Wanderers: Tomas MEJIAS (GK), Adama TRAORE, Rhys WILLIAMS (c) (Mark NATTA 78’), Jack RODWELL, Steven UGARKOVIC, Keijiro OGAWA, James TROISI, Keanu BACCUS (Terry ANTONIS 67’), John KOUTROUMBIS, Dimitrios PETRATOS (Tomer HEMED 67’), Thomas AQUILINA                                                                           Unused subs: Daniel MARGUSH (GK), Ziggy GORDON, Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS, Alessandro LOPANE

Feature Image Credit: Steve Christo

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Oscar Rutherford
Sports tragic studying Law/Arts at Monash University. Second-best paid Oscar working in football who has been to China.

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