Brendon Santalab’s maiden A-League hat-trick fired Western Sydney Wanderers to a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Melbourne City.
The visitors struck early at Spotless Stadium as the recalled Nick Fitzgerald weaved inside off the right wing and teed up Neil Kilkenny, whose deflected first-time strike left Wanderers goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic with no chance.
Western Sydney levelled midway through the first half, with Santalab drilling past Thomas Sorensen at his near post after a darting run and pass from Nicolas Martinez.
Martinez passed up a glorious chance to put Wanderers ahead before the break but they hit the front in the 64th minute.
A wonderfully worked move ended with Scott Neville checking back on to his left foot and crossing from the right, with Santalab on hand to plant home the header.
He brought up his hat-trick four minutes later, bravely nodding past the on-rushing Sorensen before City passed up a glorious chance to set up a grandstand finale when Bruno Fornaroli’s poor penalty was saved by Janjetovic.
Back-to-back wins for the first time this season strengthened Western Sydney’s grip on a place in the top six, while City lie third – nine points behind neighbours Melbourne Victory having played a game more.