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Phoenix's Israeli striker Tomer Hemed uses flag, kippah during goal celebrations

Melbourne City have spurned a golden chance to edge closer to the A-League premiers plate, slipping to a 2-2 draw against Wellington Phoenix.

City came back from a goal down to lead 2-1 courtesy of Jamie Maclaren's brilliant free kick but Wellington's Tomer Hemed scored a brace, including a late equaliser to snare a point.

Patrick Kisnorbo made six changes to the team that beat Adelaide United on Thursday, with Connor Metcalfe wearing the captain's armband for the first time and Maclaren among five regular starters benched.

Wellington were without skipper Ulises Davila (hamstring) but took the upper hand against an understrength City XI filled with fringe and young players.

In the 32nd minute, Reno Piscopo had a goal-bound shot cleared by Scott Galloway but just five minutes later, Wellington took the lead from the penalty spot.

Ben Garuccio clipped Louis Fenton in the area and Israeli striker Hemed stepped up and slotted the penalty.

In the 39th minute, Tom Glover made himself big to deny David Ball and stop Wellington doubling their lead, while in the 51st, Rostyn Griffiths cleared Ben Waine's effort off the line.

City hit back just seven minutes later.

Devlin put Joshua Laws under pressure deep in defence and Marco Tilio nipped in to pinch the ball and squared it for Naoki Tsubaki to tap home in the 58th minute.

City called upon Maclaren in the 60th minute and he looked set to be the hero 21 minutes later.

Adrian Luna was brought down by Reno Piscopo just outside the area and Maclaren curled a delightful free kick around the Wellington wall.

But eight seven minutes later, David Ball put in a cross from the right and Hemed equalised with an acrobatic volley

The Israel international who had celebrated his first goal by draping an Israeli flag from supporters in the crowd around himself, received a yellow card for his celebration for his second goal.

Hemed pulled a kippah out from his shirt - which had been taped to his shoulder - and put it on, then put one hand over his face and raised another to the sky.

Metcalfe missed two late chances to be the hero in injury time, smacking one shot onto the post before a loose touch cost him a late tap-in.