Hyundai A-League Weekend Wrap - Round 8

Things have tightened up remarkably at the top of the Hyundai A-League table at the end of Round 8, with the top seven teams separated by just two points after both Sydney and Gold Coast lost.

Things have tightened up remarkably at the top of the Hyundai A-League table at the end of Round 8, with the top seven teams separated by just two points after both Sydney and Gold Coast lost.

Results - Round 7 Newcastle Jets 0 defeated by PERTH GLORY 1 Gold Coast United 2 defeated by MELBOURNE VICTORY 3 Wellington Phoenix 0 drew Central Coast Mariners 0 BRISBANE ROAR 1 defeated Sydney FC 0 North Queensland Fury 0 defeated by ADELAIDE UNITED 2

Game Wraps Things have tightened up remarkably at the top of the Hyundai A-League table at the end of Round 8, with the top seven teams separated by just two points after both the top sides lost.

Perth joined Sydney and Gold Coast on the top of the table of 13 points after a 1-0 win over Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Friday night. The Glory worked hard all night and were rewarded with their second successive away win when Mile Sterjovski stepped up to convert a penalty in the 81st minute.

Melbourne inflicted Gold Coast's first-ever home defeat in a thrilling match at Skilled Park on Saturday night that ended 3-2. The home side took an early lead through Jason Culina's penalty, but Carlos Hernandez answered with a wonderful goal which may earn him a goal of the year nomination.

After Steve Fitzsimmons was sent off, Gold Coast went 2-1 down when Archie Thompson struck before Joel Porter netted his first goal of the season on the stroke of half time.

The decisive moment of the match came when Thompson was brought down in the box and Kevin Muscat stepped up to slot the penalty at the second time of asking with five minutes remaining.

Melbourne moved to 12 points, just one behind Gold Coast which still holds the league lead.

On a super Sunday, Wellington and Central Coast shared the points 0-0 at Westpac Stadium, before Sydney's winless streak at Suncorp Stadium continued as Sergio Van Dijk struck late to give Brisbane the three points.

In the final game of the round, Adelaide overpowered North Queensland late in the match at Dairy Farmers Stadium, with second half goals from Lucas Pantelis and Matthew Leckie.

Weekend Goals Tally: 9

Attendances (total / average): 30,992/6198

Goal of the Week - Carlos Hernandez The Costa Rican has scored some brilliant goals in his time in the Hyundai A-League, but his effort against Gold Coast was undoubtedly his best. All he needs is a little space and he is prepared to wind up, and with Bas Van Deb Brink backing off, Hernandez did not hesitate from over 30 yards out. His shot was unstoppable.

Player of the Week - Eugene Galekovic In a round where defences generally dominated, the Adelaide stopper stood out after keeping his team in the game when North Queensland laid siege to his goal in the first hour of the game. He pulled off several outstanding saves, the best of which denied Daniel McBreen early in the second half.

One to Watch - Golgol Mebrahtu He only spent an hour on the pitch but the Eritrean-born teenager showed enough in his cameo for the Gold Coast against Melbourne to show he will be a star of the future. The kid with the name of a cult figure cut a swathe through the Melbourne defence on several occasions and looms as a real wildcard in Miron Bleiberg's plans for the premiership.

Leading Goalscorers after Round 8 9 - Shane Smeltz

4 -Robbie Fowler, Carlos Hernandez, Branko Jelic, Archie Thompson, Sergio Van Dijk

3 - John Aloisi, Henrique, Lucas Pantelis

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

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