Lustica wins record-breaking nine goal classic as chaos reigns in Geelong

Western United prevailed 5-4 over Perth Glory in a chaotic, see-sawing A-League contest on Saturday afternoon that saw a competition record eight second half goals hit the back of the net in Geelong.

Steven Lustica's deflected 84th minute strike put an end to the madness at GMHBA Stadium after Mark Rudan's hosts lost their half time advantage, recovered it and lost it again twice. 

Perth had seemingly turned the game on its head when two goals in the space of two second half minutes from Carlo Armiento and Bruno Fornaroli cancelled out a first half effort from Victor Sanchez, the Spaniard's first strike on Australian soil. 

Western United retaliated instantly through Dylan Pierias' remarkable cameo. Having replaced Besart Berisha on the hour mark, the former Melbourne City product and nominal right back triumped Perth's two-minute double with a tidy header and fantastic volley in four minutes - and even fewer touches of the ball. 

Perth equalised when Nicholas D'Agostino met Neil Kilkenny's wicked delivery with a bullet header at the back post, Tomoki Imai restored the hosts' lead before Armiento struck again when Kilkenny's delivery caused more havoc at the back.

But in the end, Lustica's effort six minutes from the ninety was decisive.

Key moments

Western United dominated the opening exchanges and opened the scoring with a classy strike from Sanchez. Connor Pain flew down the left and his cutback from the byline with smartly dummied by Lustica, leaving Sanchez to mark a late run into the box with a strong curling finish over Liam Reddy. 

Jonathan Aspropotamitis was required to make a goal-saving clerance on Besart Berisha, who was inches away from turning Tomislav Uskok's centre home. 
Pain continued to thwart the Perth defence and required tight marshalling, and the hosts should have doubled the advantage through Vujica.

Sanchez' corner evaded everyone and fell to the former Newcastle Jet at the back post, but the direction of his header was wayward when it appeared easier for Vujica to double his season tally, having netted against Melbourne City. 
 

Perth's strike partnership of Bruno Fornaroli and Andy Keogh failed to ignite in the opening half - the Uruguayan and the Irishman were kept relatively silenced bar one first half opportunity that saw Fornaroli's effort blocked. 

Such was the short turnaround from Wednesday's 5-3 win over Adelaide United, Richard Garcia opted for a double-change at half time with Riley Warland and Brandon Wilson coming on for Joshua Rawlins and Callum Timmins. 

The changes provided the impetus Perth needed and within 15 minutes the visitors took the lead. Armiento - who scored against Adelaide United midweek and replaced the injured Daniel Stynes late in the first half - played a gorgeous one two with Fornaroli before hammering an unstoppable low drive past Reddy.

Armiento then turned provider with his cross on the breakaway magnificently flicked home by Fornaroli.

Perth had seemingly turned the game on its head but within the space of four minutes Dylan Pierias left the Geelong crowd stunned with a remarkable two-goal cameo in the space of four minutes. 

Pierias replaced Besart Berisha in the aftermath of Fornaroli's goal and scored with his first touch after planting Lachlan Wales' cross into the corner, the 20-year-old's first A-League goal. 

Then, two minutes later, Pierias blasted Western United in front after he did not give up on Imai's cross and smashed it low and hard across Reddy.

But Perth did not give up. D'Agostino, Perth's two-goal hero from midweek, ran onto Kilkenny's deep free kick with a clear header at the far post. 

The crazy second half took another turn six minutes later, when Western United regained their lead through Imai. 

Lovely combination play down the left from Wales and Pierias resulted in Wales squaring the ball across goal to the Japanese international at the far post, who hammered past Reddy to restore the hosts lead. 

Then, Perth made it all square again. Kilkenny's deep delivery was not dealt with by the United defence, and Armiento was on hand to fire home the loose ball. 

United were back in front when Diamanti's corner was not cleared by Perth and the ball squirmed out to Lustica, whose low drive took a deflection and left Reddy stranded.  

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