Drama to the last as Wanderers prevail in A-League thriller

The A-League has dished up yet another classic, with a late salvo from Kwame Yeboah steering the Western Sydney Wanderers to an epic 4-3 victory over Wellington Phoenix.

It’s been a season like no other, and Monday night’s rollercoaster clash at Bankwest Stadium was just the latest example of the entertainment value the competition keeps on delivering, week after week, world-class goal after world-class goal.

An acrobatic Kwame Yeboah celebrates what turned out to be the winner in Monday’s A-League thriller between Western Sydney and Wellington.Credit:Getty

The Phoenix had pulled ahead on three separate occasions, only for the Wanderers to claw them back each time – before Yeboah had the final say in the 84th minute, sweeping home a cutback from Nicolai Mueller to seal a vital three points and complete a come-from-behind win that few Wanderers fans will forget any time soon.

There was, of course, a dramatic late twist: Wellington’s Israeli international striker Tomer Hemed seemed to have scored a dramatic equaliser deep in stoppage time, but the VAR ruled that his left shoulder had just strayed offside as he latched onto a hopeful ball forward from a teammate.

It was a bitter ending for the Phoenix, who were perhaps the better side but were unable to repel the waves of desperate attacking movements from Western Sydney.

When the full-time whistle eventually sounded – eight minutes past the regulation 90 – there was little else to do but breathe in deeply and attempt to understand what on earth had just happened.

Ulises Davila opened the scoring in the seventh minute, as he and Reno Piscopo exposed the Wanderers’ slack marking with a simple one-two move.

But their lead didn’t last long, with Daniel Wilmering smashing home a cross from Bernie Ibini for his first A-League goal in the 23rd minute.

Cameron Devlin responded with the best goal of the night – and possibly the season – when a deflected Piscopo shot fell to him and, from at least 30 yards out, he rifled it straight into the top corner.

However, seven minutes into the second half, Jordon Mutch headed in James Troisi’s corner kick to restore parity once more.

Nine minutes later, Wellington took the lead once more – this time from the penalty spot after Piscopo drew a foul from Western Sydney captain Dylan McGowan, clearly exaggerating the contact to ensure referee Shaun Evans saw it.

Hemed converted the spot kick, and then celebrated by draping himself in his nation’s flag with a group of Jewish supporters whom he had personally invited on behalf of a local community group, and were bussed in from Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Less than 60 seconds later, it was all square again, as Mitchell Duke controlled a long ball from Mutch with his chest, then – without letting it bounce – belted it past Oliver Sail, setting the stage for Yeboah’s glorious finish, and Hemed’s false reply.

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