Tomi Juric scored a hat-trick of penalties as Adelaide United secured a thrilling 3-2 win over A-League leaders Central Coast Mariners.
In an action-packed contest at Coopers Stadium on Friday, the visitors were undone by a combination of poor discipline and a couple of borderline VAR calls.
The Mariners led with 20 minutes remaining but succumbed to two late spot-kicks, as Juric added to his first-half penalty to end Adelaide’s run of three straight losses.
Daniel De Silva gave the Mariners a 15th-minute lead with a scruffy finish inside the box, but the scores were level at the break after Ruon Tongyik was deemed to have fouled Stefan Mauk, with Juric converting from 12 yards after VAR upheld the decision.
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Alou Kuol restored the advantage for Alen Stajcic’s side, his powerful strike finding its way in off the post, but the lead was short-lived.
Mauk was the one to go down again, with substitute Joshua Nisbet the guilty party, and Juric kept his nerve to beat Mark Birighitti.
Incredibly, the hosts were awarded a third penalty with five minutes left – VAR having spotted a handball by Kye Rowles – and Juric proved deadly once more.
Rowles then saw red deep into stoppage time after remonstrating with the referee as the Mariners missed the chance to go seven points clear at the top.