The Wellington Phoenix have made it nine unbeaten games in a row after a 3-3 thriller against Melbourne Victory in football’s A-league.
The draw keeps Victory second and Wellington fifth on the ladder, and also saw the Phoenix extend their club’s unbeaten record.
Phoenix striker Roy Krishna also became the first player in A-League history to score three consecutive doubles.
New Zealander Kosta Barbarouses salvaged a point for Melbourne Victory when he struck a volley with two minutes remaining against his old side as Victory jumped back from a two-goal deficit.
Just days after Victory’s 5-0 away belting of Brisbane, Phoenix stunned the champions with three first-half goals.
Roy Krishna netted a double for the visitors after team-mate David Williams equalised Ola Toivonen’s opener in a pulsating stanza, the equal of any 45 minutes of football played this season.
James Troisi replied for Victory in the 55th minute as Kevin Muscat’s side chased the match.
Terry Antonis struck the post and Thomas Deng made a last-ditch slide tackle to deny Cillian Sheridan at one end, before Barbarouses arrived to save Victory’s bacon.
The result is the second draw the two finals-bound sides have played out at AAMI Park this season.
Today the 18,136 crowd were treated to a classic.
Victory’s giant Swedish footballer Toivonen put the home side ahead with a neat chip after just five minutes, but then the Phoenix took over.
Mark Rudan’s side couldn’t be contained at times, breaking with pace and showing trickery that flummoxed Victory’s defence.
Thomas Deng was at fault for the opener, losing track of Williams as he finished Louis Fenton’s cutback.
Krishna then transformed the contest in 10 minutes by winning a penalty, scoring it, and netting once more.
Josh Hope caught Krishna’s trailing leg in the box on 19 minutes, allowing the Fijian to thump home the spot kick past Lawrence Thomas.
By scoring his second he became the first player in A-League history to score three consecutive doubles.
A Wellington win looked on the cards until Victory lifted their intensity, Troisi cashing in after a one-two with Toivonen.
Then in the helter-skelter final moments, Antonis’ hopeful long ball drew the desired result, falling to an unmarked Barbarouses to steer home through a packed penalty box.