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2016/17 Australian A-League, 2016 Australian A-League
  • Fabio Ferreira (45'+1')
  • Ruon Tongyik (47' OG)
  • Paul Izzo (62')
  • Bruno Fornaroli (4', 64' PEN)
  • Nick Montgomery (16' OG)

Melbourne City win five-goal thriller against Central Coast Mariners

Melbourne City climbed into third place in the A-League after winning a frenetic 3-2 thriller against 10-man Central Coast, thanks to some luck and Paul Izzo's goalkeeping implosion.

A Bruno Fornaroli brace, own goals and goalkeeping howlers were all involved as Mariners captain Nick Montgomery and young City defender Ruon Tongyik both put through their own net, before Izzo's 62nd-minute red card and subsequent penalty finished City's job for them.

For the visitors, it was just as well, as City had not managed to dominate their much lower-ranked opponents this campaign, and they faced another end-to-end contest on Sunday.

Roy O'Donovan shaved the upright from distance, Fernando Brandan steered a free header wide and Fabio Ferreira skewed a shot so far off course it sailed over the venue's famous sauce bottles and into the outside traffic.

But City had fired a warning back in the fourth minute when Fornaroli struck the opener with precision, bending a free kick around the Mariners' wall and wrong-footing Izzo in his 50th A-League appearance.

It was tough for the almost 6,000 fans braving the wet to watch Izzo stand frozen to the spot, but the manner in which the Mariners conceded the second was cruel.

Connor Pain went down in the box during a hustle with Tongyik and his penalty appeal had barely been waved away when City set off on the counter-attack.

Fornaroli fed Brandan and the Argentine squared for Anthony Caceres and, just as the former Mariner released his shot, Montgomery stuck out a boot and inadvertently deflected into his own net.

Paul Okon was livid at the decision and was duly warned but his team's possession was rewarded when Ferreira's free kick took a deflection and left Thomas Sorensen diving in vain just before half-time.

After the break, Central Coast drew level as confusion reigned in the City defence and Tongyik sliced the ball into an empty net with Sorensen off his line.

Farce took over just after the hour mark when Izzo's clearance was snatched by Fornaroli.

The marksman charged towards goal and was almost there when Izzo's decision-making went awry and he fouled him on the line.

Referee Adam Fielding couldn't reach for his red card quick enough, and the speedy Kwabena Appiah made way for second-choice keeper Ivan Necevski, who dived left as Fornaroli sent his 40th A-League goal straight down the middle from the spot.

Somehow the game wasn't over, and City survived a touch-and-go scrap on their line -- and a stoppage-time scuffle between Fitzgerald and Scott Galloway -- as the Mariners maintained the pressure right until the end.

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