Safuwan Baharudin scored his first A-League goal for Melbourne City since joining on a three-month loan from the LionsXII last month, as the Singapore defender sparked a 3-1 comeback win at their AAMI Park home ground over title hopefuls Adelaide United.
Safuwan, 23, started at right wingback after being left out of the team’s 0-0 draw with A-League leaders Perth Glory last week.
He had played the whole of City’s 0-0 draw away at Wellington Phoenix at right back the week before, and lasted 60 minutes in the centre of midfield during the 3-0 local derby defeat by Melbourne Victory two weeks ago.
The home side started the match brightly but fell behind to Pablo Sanchez’s goal in the 32nd minute.
In search of a way back into the game, City coach John van’t Schip then tinkered with his line-up at the break and Safuwan began the second 45 minutes on the left side of a four-man defence.
What a masterstroke it turned out to be.
Just seven minutes into the second half, Safuwan scored the crucial equaliser for City when he swept home a loose ball at the back post past Adelaide’s Australian international goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.
The goal rejuvenated City, and they scored a second through Josh Kennedy three minutes later.
The home side made sure of the three points in the 87th minute when substitute Iain Ramsay finished from close range after good work from David Williams and Massimo Murdocca.
The only blight on Safuwan’s game was a yellow card he picked up in the dying minutes of the game as City defended their lead.
But chances are he won’t be too worried about the booking after putting up a solid performance which had match commentators touting him as a candidate for Man of the Match.