Melbourne Victory scored twice in the final six minutes to defeat Melbourne City and Tim Cahill was sent off in bizarre fashion in a controversial derby clash at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The visitors took the lead in a feisty encounter after 70 minutes, with Alan Baro turning a shot from Neil Kilkenny into his own net.
Besart Berisha had missed a penalty prior to that opener, but he made amends on 84 minutes, slotting home from close range after Marco Rojas did well to fashion space in the area.
And Berisha forced a winner for Victory two minutes later when Manny Muscat, in attempting to prevent the ball reaching him, managed only to put it past goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis and into the net.
Besart Berisha penalties this season:
— Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) February 4, 2017
The assistant referee flagged Berisha for offside but his decision was controversially overruled by referee Chris Beath, prompting furious protests from City players, with unused substitute Cahill earning a red card for his dissent as he prepared to come on.
The result sees Victory close back to within nine points of leaders Sydney, while City remain fourth – though they are now only two points above Perth Glory.
Kenny Lowe’s side won a five-goal thriller against Newcastle Jets to take advantage of City’s slip, with Diego Castro scoring twice in an enthralling game at nib Stadium.
Castro opened the scoring from the penalty spot and he restored the hosts’ advantage with an incisive run and finish after Andrew Hoole’s headed equaliser.
Adam Taggart turned in Josh Risdon’s cross to double the advantage, and although Jason Hoffman created some anxiety with a thumping effort, Glory held on for a 3-2 win.
Meanwhile, Western Sydney Wanderers moved into sixth place behind Glory after a 3-1 away win at Wellington Phoenix.
Brendon Santalab hit two goals either side of setting up one for Nicolas Martinez and Shane Smeltz got a goal back with a penalty before he was dismissed for two yellow cards.
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