Thrilling comebacks in the Hyundai A-League: top 5

After Newcastle Jets’ late comeback against Western Sydney Wanderers, it got us pondering the great fightbacks in Hyundai A-League history.

Here’s five thrilling comebacks from the last few seasons to whet your appetite for this weekend’s round in the Hyundai A-League.

Western Sydney Wanderers 5-4 (aet) v Brisbane Roar – Hyundai A-League 2016 Finals Series

Wanderland was left stunned as visitors Brisbane raced out to a jaw-dropping 3-0 lead inside 23 minutes to seemingly lock-up a spot in last season’s grand final.

But Tony Popovic’s side weren’t about to throw in the towel. A stunning hat-trick from Romeo Castelen either side of Brendon Santalab’s goal had them in front before the hour mark, only for Roar to equalise again late on to force extra-time.

Substitute Dario Vidosic then became an instant hero, scoring the match-winner in what is officially the greatest comeback in Hyundai A-League history.

Look back at the match report and highlights here

The full-time whistle sounded and the Wanderers had done it, sparking jubilant scenes on the pitch and in the stands.

Perth Glory 3-3 Central Coast Mariners – Round 1, Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Season

In new coach Paul Okon’s first game in charge, the Mariners were blown away in the West as they went to half-time trailing 3-0.

But showing enormous character, they stormed back after the break cutting the deficit through Roy O’Donovan before scoring twice more in the last six minutes to complete a miracle fightback.

Look back at the match report and highlights here

Connor Pain and Kwabena Appiah celebrate a Mariners goal.

Sydney FC 2-3 Melbourne Victory – Round 6, Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season

With a big home crowd behind them, the Sky Blues were on track for a big three points as goals to Yairo Yau and Pascal Bosschaart (remember them?) had FC 2-0 up with less than 15 minutes to go. 

But Victory boss Ange Postecoglou produced a masterstroke, throwing on little-known teenager Andrew Nabbout.

Nabbout pulled one back on 78 minutes before Sky Blues nemesis Archie Thompson equalised with five to go before the youngster won it in stoppage time. Cue mad celebrations with the away bay, who were going crazy. 

Sydney boss Ian Crook angrily kicked away his chair on the sidelines and resigned from his post the next day. 

Nabbout is now with the Jets.

Andrew Nabbout

Central Coast Mariners 3-3 Melbourne Victory – Round 14, Hyundai A-League 2015/16 Season

The Mariners decision to take a home match to Geelong looked like paying off as they surged to a 3-0 first half lead against the champions with goals to Harry Ascroft, Josh Bingham and pacey Mitch Austin. 

They maintained that advantage until 24 minutes from time until Victory’s class took over.

Besart Berisha pulled one back from the spot before Archie scored again soon after. Just when it looked like the Mariners would hold on under enormous pressure, Berisha pounced with a strong header to make it 3-3.

Suitably impressed, Victory signed Austin in the off-season.  

Head here for the official match report and highlights

Mitch Austin

Brisbane Roar 2-2 (4-2) Central Coast Mariners – Hyundai A-League 2011 Grand Final

One of the games which gave birth to Brisbane’s reputation as the comeback kings. 

Central Coast appeared to have a maiden title sewn up, leading 2-0 inside the last five minutes of extra-time at Suncorp Stadium.

But Henrique pegged one back with four minutes left before Erik Paartalu’s towering header in the 120th minute broke Mariners hearts and sent it to penalties. 

And the rest is Roar history.

Erik Paartalu