Wellington Phoenix 3
Melbourne City 2
If that was the Wellington Phoenix's last home game of the season then it was a pretty special way to end it for their home fans.
Roy Krishna completed his hat-trick in the 94th minute as the Phoenix secured a 3-2 win over Melbourne City FC and kept their hopes of a home playoff game alive heading into the final round of the regular season.
The victory was Wellington's seventh in their last eight matches at Westpac Stadium, however tonight's encounter still may be their final game on home soil for the season.
The Phoenix's fate remains out of their hands, trailing fourth-placed Adelaide United by a point heading into the final round of fixtures this week. A sixth-place finish and an away playoff game against Adelaide remains the likely outcome for Mark Rudan's men.
By Thursday evening the Phoenix will know whether fourth place, and a home playoff game, is still up for grabs with Adelaide playing the ninth-placed Brisbane Roar. Melbourne City, trailing the Phoenix by three points, have a similarly easy fixture against bottom-placed Central Coast. The Phoenix don't play their final regular season game until Sunday, a trip to Perth which could see them send a weaker squad if a home playoff game is no longer up for grabs.
Regardless of their playoff opponent or where the game is played, the Phoenix should go into knockout football confident they have the goods both up front and at the back in goalkeeper Filip Kurto and striker Krishna with the duo playing key roles in tonight's victory.
Kurto proved how vital he could be in the playoffs pulling off back-to-back saves in the 22nd minute, denying Melbourne City from converting on early possession.
Shortly after on the break Max Burgess played a ball through for Roy Krishna which looked to have just too much on it as Melbourne goalie Eugene Galekovic rushed out to gather the ball, however Krisnha just got a right foot to it, sneaking a surprising shot over the advancing keeper and into the net.
On the stroke of halftime Kurto needed to make back-to-back saves yet again, denying Jamie Maclaren twice in the box, however a third close range shot proved too much as Riley McGree punished the Phoenix for failing to clear from their own box.
The Phoenix were slow to start in the second half as Melbourne coughed up a few chances to take the lead. That proved costly when Krishna made it a double with a left foot strike from the edge of the box in the 51st minute to give the Phoenix a 2-1 lead.
The 17th goal of the season for Krishna put the Fijian ahead of Sydney FC's Adam le Fondre on the golden boot standings, and also saw him pass Jeremy Brockie's 2012-13 club record mark for most goals in a season.
But again the Phoenix couldn't hold the lead for long with the failure to clear letting them down a second time.
In the 66th minute McGree pounced on another lose clearance from Andrew Durante to unleash a powerful low left foot strike by Kurto to make it 2-2.
However Krishna had the last say, sneaking in his hat-trick goal at close range from a corner in the fourth minute of injury time.
Wellington Phoenix 3 (Roy Krishna 27, 51, 90+4).
Melbourne City 2 (Riley McGree 42, 66).