Roy Krishna scores hat-trick as Wellington Phoenix beat Melbourne City 3-2
Roy Krishna has completed a hat-trick to hand Wellington a last-gasp 3-2 win over Melbourne City and keep alive their hopes of hosting an A-League home final.
Krishna tucked home the winner from a goalmouth scramble in the 94th minute to cap a thrilling contest on Sunday in Wellington which the visitors had mostly dominated.
Riley McGree scored twice for City, both times cancelling out Krishna strikes but the home team held firm to cement fifth place and line up a shot at a fourth-placed finish in next week’s final round.
City are all-but guaranteed to finish sixth, which would set up a Melbourne derby in the first round of the playoffs.
As has been the case for much of the campaign, red-hot striker Krishna proved the difference.
He also overtakes Jeremy Brockie as the leading scorer in a Phoenix season. Brockie notched 16 goals in 2012-13.
McGree’s selection was inspired from coach Warren Joyce. He was the only change to the visitors’ starting XI who drew 0-0 last week with Adelaide, replacing Kearyn Baccus in the midfield.
City deserved to win on weight of possession and chances, unleashing nine shots on goal to six.
Wellington goalkeeper Filip Kurto was immense, making a handful of sharp saves as he did when the Phoenix won 1-0 when they met in January.
A-League: Wellington striker Roy Krishna put himself in the history books against Melbourne City with two classic finishes.
Krishna breaks Nix record
It was potentially the last game in Wellington for departing coach Mark Rudan, who was given a rousing reception by Phoenix fans as he left the ground. A counter-attack led to Krishna’s opener, a nifty finish after being played through by Max Burgess in the 27th minute.
City responded with McGree carefully placing the ball past Kurto in the 42nd minute after the Polish gloveman had made successive reaction saves to two fearsome Jamie Maclaren strikes.
Krishna scored against the run of play soon after the break, rifling home a left-foot strike from the top of the box.
McGree’s equaliser was high quality, twisting to connect first time with a clearance that was moving away from goal.
Originally published as Krishna hits three as Phoenix pip City