Sydney FC coach Steve Corica has hailed the increase of substitutions in the A-League, after one of his bench players contributed mightily to Friday's 3-1 home win over Wellington.
The ladder leaders' victory at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in the competition's first match in almost four months, means they need just one point from their last five games to secure a record fourth Premier's Plate
They were forced to come from behind after Rene Piscopo's 66th minute penalty.
That was just six minutes after Corica made a bold triple substitution, introducing Trent Buhagiar, Alex Baumjohann and Michael Zullo into the game
Speedy striker Buhagiar proved the difference after Adam Le Fondre equalised with another spot kick.
Buhagiar raced clear for two breakaway goals in the dying minutes to secure the victory, as the competition resumed after a hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
"The five subs is going to help with the pace of the game to keep a high tempo," Corica said.
"Making three subs (at the same time) lifted our boys.
"That's what we needed at the time after conceding the penalty
"It helped out fantastically, so it does help having the five subs, if you can use them at the right times as well."
The move from three to five substitutions was made to allow teams to increase game time for more of their players and manage workloads, with the remainder of the season being compressed into a relatively short period.
Both Corica and his Phoenix counterpart and former Sydney assistant coach Ufuk Talay utilised all five of their substitutions.
Neither coach reported any injury issues, which was important, given both clubs will have to back up quickly.
Sydney are hosting Newcastle at the same venue on Tuesday.
A day later Phoenix are at Bankwest Stadium against Perth, who will first play Central Coast in Gosford on Saturday.