Hyundai A-League Weekend Wrap - Round 24
Sydney took the upper hand in the battle for the Hyundai A-League premiership but Melbourne is just one point behind the Sky Blues after both tasted success on the weekend.
Results - Round 24 Central Coast Mariners 1 Gold Coast United 1 PERTH GLORY 2 Wellington Phoenix 0 MELBOURNE VICTORY 2 Adelaide United 0 North Queensland Fury 1 Brisbane Roar 1 Newcastle Jets 1 SYDNEY FC 3
Results - Round 19 Adelaide United 2 PERTH GLORY 3
Game Wraps Sydney took the upper hand in the battle for the Hyundai A-League premiership but Melbourne is just one point behind the Sky Blues after both tasted success on the weekend.
The two Hyundai A-League powerhouses leapfrogged Gold Coast at the top of the table after Melbourne defeated Adelaide and Sydney overcame Newcastle, while Miron Bleiberg's team managed just a draw away to Central Coast.
In that match, Joel Porter gave Gold Coast the lead on 66 minutes, but Nik Mrdja converted a penalty two minutes later. Both sides had a chance to win the match, but it ended in a draw extending the Mariners' winless streak to eight and stretching Gold Coast's unbeaten run to six.
Later on Friday night, Perth franked its finals credentials with a 2-0 win over Wellington at ME Bank Stadium. Daniel McBreen and Todd Howarth both netted in the first half of an entertaining match. Eugene Dadi then had a chance to drag the Phoenix back into the contest from the penalty spot midway through the second half. But by his own admission, he choked against his former team, hitting a tame ball straight at Tando Velaphi.
Perth is now ahead of the Phoenix in fifth place, but Ricki Herbert's men still look destined to make their first-ever finals series.
Melbourne notched its ninth successive win over Adelaide United with a 2-0 triumph at Etihad Stadium. Tom Pondeljak scored after just 22 seconds, while Kevin Muscat slotted a last-minute penalty to complete the win.
It means the Victory will grab top spot should they beat Wellington on Tuesday. For Adelaide, it all but ends its hopes for the finals and the Reds sit rock bottom.
North Queensland, without the services of Robbie Fowler, managed a 1-1 draw against Brisbane at Dairy Farmers' Stadium, but it wasn't particularly useful to the finals hopes of either team.
Luke DeVere scrambled home a goal just after half-time for the visitors, but David Williams bobbed up to score an equaliser on 55 minutes. Brisbane and the Fury are four and five points adrift of the top six respectively.
Sydney recorded its first come-form-behind success of the season, knocking off Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium 3-1.
Jobe Wheelhouse put the Jets in front on 33 minutes, but John Aloisi levelled things just before the half. Stuart Musialik's rocket and Chris Payne's first goal for Sydney put the Sky Blues back on top.
Earlier in the week, Perth recorded a memorable come-from-behind 3-2 win over Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Weekend Goals Tally: 12
Attendances (total / average): 52995/10591
Goal of the Week - Stuart Musialik Musialik has been Sydney FC's quiet achiever this year. But against Newcastle on Sunday he put his name up in lights, hitting a brilliant 30-yard drive which put his side in front early in the second half of the match. So well was it hit, Jets keeper Ben Kennedy didn't move.
Player of the Week - Eugene Galekovic It's not often that a goalkeeper gets a gong in this section when his team was beaten 2-0. But the Adelaide stopper is in fine form at the moment and came to his side's rescue on a number of occasions on Saturday night with good saves. With the finals out of reach, he will be a vital part of their ACL campaign again.
One to Watch - Daniel McBreen The former Fury striker is relishing his time at Perth Glory and has scored twice in the past two games. His aerial strength is key to the Glory's attack and he is set to play a major role in the finals.
Leading Goalscorers After Round 24 19 - Shane SMELTZ
10 - Sergio VAN DIJK
9 - Robbie FOWLER, Carlos HERNANDEZ, Paul IFILL, Archie THOMPSON
7 - Mile STERJOVSKI
6 - John ALOISI, Mark BRIDGE, Michael BRIDGES, Alex BROSQUE, Steve CORICA, Nik MRDJA, Matt SIMON, Matt THOMPSON
5 - Tim BROWN, Dyron DAAL, Chris GREENACRE, Labinot HALITI, Branko JELIC, Daniel MCBREEN, REINALDO
4 - Travis DODD, Robbie KRUSE, Kevin MUSCAT, Joel PORTER, Victor SIKORA, Jin-Hyung SONG
3 - CRISTIANO, Jason CULINA, Eugene DADI, Rostyn GRIFFITHS, HENRIQUE, Jamie HARNWELL, John HUTCHINSON, Lucas PANTELIS, Wayne SRHOJ, Nicky TRAVIS
2 - Leo BERTOS, Pedj BOJIC, Jacob BURNS, CASSIO, DANIEL CORTES, Luke DEVERE, Mate DUGANDZIC, Steven FITZSIMMONS, Jason HOFFMAN, Todd HOWARTH, Adam KWASNIK, Mathew LECKIE, Adrian LEIJER, Matt McKAY, Charlie MILLER, Adriano PELLEGRINO, Sasho PETROVSKI, Tomislav PONDELJAK, Kristian REES, Sean ROONEY, Nick WARD, Jobe WHEELHOUSE, David WILLIAMS
1 - ALEMAO, Danny ALLSOPP, Costa BARBAROUSES, Fabian BARBIERO, Andrew BARISIC, Nigel BOOGAARD, Grant BREBNER, Jeremy BROCKIE, James BROWN, Scott BULLOCH, Isaka CERNAK, Kofi DANNING, David DODD, Ahmad ELRICH, Ney FABIANO, Iain FYFE, Brendan GAN, Chris GROSSMAN, Troy HEARFIELD, Dean HEFFERNAN, Adam Hughes, Matthew KEMP, Karol KISEL, Dylan MACALLISTER, Terry McFLYNN, Michael MCGLINCHEY, Jon McKAIN, Tahj MINNIECON, MILSON, Craig MOORE, Stuart MUSIALIK, Jason NAIDOVSKI, Mitch NICHOLS, Tommy OAR, Lloyd OWUSU, Chris PAYNE, Lucas PANTELIS, Naum SEKULOVSKI, Ben SIGMUND, John TAMBOURAS, Danny TIATTO, Rodrigo VARGAS, Alex WILKINSON