Eugene Galekovic was the hero as Melbourne City survived a red card and relied on a three-minute burst of goals to beat Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday night.
Galekovic saved Oriol Riera's penalty in the 87th minute to retain City's two-goal lead as Warren Joyce's side battled manfully for the last 35 minutes with 10-men following Rostyn Griffiths' second yellow card.
After a relatively even opening with both team's defences on top, City took the lead on 35 minutes after a horrible lapse in concentration by Wanderers defender Raul Llorente.
Dario Vidosic quickly took a long throw from the halfway line to get Lachlan Wales in behind a sleeping Llorente, before the ex-Mariner slotted a wonderful finish past returning red and black keeper Vedran Janjetovic.
Two minutes later, the Wanderers had barely recovered from the shock of conceding such a poor goal when Riley McGree turned Llorente easily on the right flank, before teeing up a lovely low strike for full-back Richie De Laet.
Galekovic was yet to have an impact on the game but he stepped up as half-time approached with a superb diving save to deny Bruce Kamau's goal-bound effort.
The match became complicated for City in the 56th minute when Griffiths was correctly given a second yellow card for a poor challenge on an uncharacteristically quiet Alexander Baumjohann.
Markus Babbel's men failed to take the advantage initially and Vidosic should have put the game out of reach on 76 minutes but Llorente redeemed himself slightly with a goal-saving block.
The Wanderers pushed in the final 10 minutes and that's when Galekovic came to the fore - making a world class save behind his body to deny Baumjohann before tipping the same player's shot over the bar seconds later.
When Nathaniel Atkinson was adjudged to have handballed in the area with a little over three minutes of regular time to play, Riera stepped up to give his team the lifeline, but Galekovic leaped to his right and saved the Spaniard's spot kick.
Three points for Melbourne City sees them into outright fourth spot on the A-League table, three points behind Victory and Sydney FC, while the Wanderers remain in eighth position - two wins adrift of sixth-placed Wellington Phoenix.