2017/18 Australian A-League, 2017 Australian A-League
  • Massimo Maccarone (14')
  • Marcin Budzinski (19')
  • Stefan Mauk (66')

Melbourne City hurt Roar's finals chances with comeback win

Melbourne City delivered a bitter blow to Brisbane Roar's A-League finals chances with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory.

The Roar had been bumped out of the top six earlier on Sunday by Western Sydney's win over Central Coast. Massimo Maccarone's opener looked to have put them on course to jump straight back in but they were ultimately overrun by City, who inflicted their seventh loss at home this season in a pulsating clash at Suncorp Stadium.

It leaves Brisbane in seventh place, three points and goal difference behind the Wanderers, who also have a game in hand.

City, meanwhile, have trimmed the gap between themselves and second-placed Newcastle to just four points after a bright performance in their first match without chief goal-scorer Ross McCormack.

Maccarone had a golden chance to make it 2-2 from the penalty spot in the 78th minute after Michael Jakobsen brought down Fahid Ben Khalfallah, but his limp attempt was saved easily by Dean Bouzanis.

The veteran Italian had headed home a free kick from Eric Bautheac to give the Roar a one-goal lead 14 minutes in. But it lasted only five minutes as City's man of the moment -- Daniel Arzani -- generated the equaliser.

The 19-year-old dribbled down the centre of the park and threaded an inch-perfect ball through two defenders for Marcin Budzinski, who fired home from close range.

The two sides traded shots on goal for the remainder of the half, with Dario Vidosic having a header cleared off the line by Maccarone and Brett Holman only kept out by Bouzanis's outstretched leg.

The Roar also had what looked a clear penalty denied, with Jack Hingert taken down in the box by a clumsy Osama Malik challenge. Much to the dismay of the 9,150 in attendance, the video assistant referee did not intervene.

A rare error from the in-form Jamie Young opened the door for the visitors to nudge ahead in the 66th minute. Young came out to collect the ball but mistimed his approach, inviting Budzinski to skip straight past him. The Polish marquee doubled back and sent in a cross for an on-rushing Stefan Mauk, who did well to time his jump and crane his neck for a neat headed finish.

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