Hyundai A-League Weekend Wrap - Round 7

Round 7 saw Sydney move level on points with Gold Coast, which suffered its worst-ever loss to Central Coast, while Melbourne returned to form with its seventh-straight win over Adelaide.

Round 7 saw Sydney move level on points with Gold Coast, which suffered its worst-ever loss to Central Coast, while Melbourne returned to form with its seventh-straight win over Adelaide.

Results - Round 7 Adelaide United 0 defeated by MELBOURNE VICTORY 2 CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 3 beat Gold Coast United 0 Wellington Phoenix 0 drew North Queensland Fury 0 SYDNEY FC 2 beat Newcastle Jets 1 Brisbane Roar 2 defeated by PERTH GLORY 4

Game Wraps Round 7 saw Sydney move level on points with Gold Coast, which suffered its worst-ever loss to Central Coast, while Melbourne returned to form with its seventh-straight win over Adelaide.

On Friday night, defending champion Melbourne bounced back to its best with a 2-0 win at Hindmarsh Stadium, making it seven straight wins over the Reds.

Nick Ward scored an extraordinary goal after just seven minutes, floating in a cross which deceived Adelaide keeper Eugene Galekovic and went in the net, before Grant Brebner settled it with an 89th-minute goal set up by some good work from Archie Thompson.

The upsets continued 24 hours later when the Gold Coast made its first trip to Bluetongue Stadium and returned home with its tail between its legs after a 3-0 hiding.

Nicky Travis scored the opening goal for the Mariners, while second-half efforts from Matt Simon and John Hutchison settled the contest. Gold Coast had leading goalscorer Shane Smeltz sent-off late in the game.

That gave Sydney an opportunity to join Gold Coast at the top and it didn't miss its chance at the SFS, with a great goal from Mark Bridge and penalty from Steve Corica more than countering Matt Thompson's first-half effort for the Jets.

The Jets, who had Tarek Elrich sent off, had plenty of chances to get back in the contest, and missed a penalty in the first half, but Sydney, missing star trio John Aloisi, Stephan Keller and Karol Kisel, bounced back after two consecutive losses.

Earlier, Wellington took an early lead against North Queensland at Westpac Stadium through Leo Bertos, but a goal from Chris Grossman in the final seconds earned the visitors a share of the points.

Perth travelled to Brisbane looking to break a long away drought and got the points in a six-goal thriller. Perth went two goals to the good with Josh McCloughan steering one into his own net before Wayne Srhoj added another just before half-time.

Henrique pulled one back early in the second half, but Branko Jelic restored the two-goal advantage on the hour mark. Four minutes later, Sergio van Dijk made it 3-2, but Adriano Pellegrino's cross was fumbled over the line by Liam Reddy on 76 minutes settling a bizarre but entertaining game.

Gold Coast holds the ladder lead over Sydney FC on goal difference, while Central Coast is now just two points behind, one clear of fourth-placed Perth. Brisbane and Melbourne are fifth and six on nine points, one clear of Adelaide and Newcastle. Wellington is on seven points, while the Fury still prop up the table on six points.

Weekend Goals Tally: 16

Attendances (total / average): 50,418/10,083

Goal of the Week - Mark Bridge Without John Aloisi, there were concerns that Sydney might struggle to threaten in attack, but Bridge rubbished those suggestions after just 26 minutes. Bridge stunned his former side, powering to the edge of the box and unleashing a perfect angled chip shot which Ben Kennedy had no hope of stopping. The ball went into the top corner and hit the inside of the side netting. A sweet shot and a sweet reward.

Player of the Week - Danny Vukovic It would be easy to focus on those scoring the goals after Central Coast upset Gold Coast 3-0 on Saturday night. But the man stopping them, Danny Vukovic, had yet another superb game in between the sticks, continuing his brilliant season. He pulled off a couple of fantastic saves, frustrating the Gold Coast and allowing his side to play its own brand of football with comfort.

One to Watch - Ali Abbas The former Iraqi international made his first appearance for the Jets as a substitute in the 2-1 loss to Sydney. Ali Abbas' story is one of second chance as first he was given a shot at a new life after he was granted political asylum, then he was given another shot at the Hyundai A-League by Branko Culina. The wide midfielder looked at ease in top company and delivered some excellent balls in from the left. Could be yet another wildcard in Culina's pack this season.

Leading Goalscorers after Round 7 9 - Shane Smeltz

4 -Robbie Fowler, Branko Jelic

3 - John Aloisi, Henrique, Carlos Hernandez, Archie Thompson, Sergio Van Dijk

2 - Leo Bertos, Mark Bridge, Steve Corica, Chris Greenacre, Jason Hoffman, Paul Ifill, Lucas Pantelis, Adriano Pellegrino, Matt Simon, Victor Sikora

1 - Danny Allsopp, Nigel Boogaard, Grant Brebner, Tim Brown, Cassio, Jason Culina, Dyron Daal, Kofi Danning, Travis Dodd, Steven Fitzsimmons, Iain Fyfe, Brendan Gan, Royston Griffiths, Chris Grossman, Labinot Haliti, John Hutchinson, Daniel Mcbreen, Michael Mcglinchey, Charlie Miller, Tahj Minniecon, Milson, Craig Moore, Jason Naidovski, Mitch Nichols, Lloyd Owusu, Reinaldo, Sean Rooney, Ben Sigmund, Matt Simon, Jin-Hyung Song, Wayne Srhoj, Mile Sterjovski, Matt Thompson, Danny Tiatto, Nicky Travis, Nick Ward, Alex Wilkinson