ICYMI: Hyundai A-League Round 23 wrap
The Hyundai A-League ladder contracted in Round 23 as the heat was turned up on first and sixth.
Get up to date with a weekend of impactful results.
Adelaide United 1-1 Melbourne City
Stefan Mauk came back to haunt Adelaide United by earning Melbourne City a deserved 1-1 draw at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
The former Reds midfielder scored eight minutes into the second half to bring an end to City's three-game losing run.
Johan Absalonsen had broken the deadlock on his first start since October, punishing Bruno Fornaroli's earlier failure to beat Paul Izzo from the penalty spot.
But Mauk popped up to spare Fornaroli's blushes and earn the visitors a much-needed share of the points.
Wellington Phoenix 0-1 Newcastle Jets
Wellington Phoenix were left to rue a host of wasted chances as Newcastle Jets escaped with a 1-0 win in Auckland on Saturday.
Jason Hoffman netted the winner in the 43rd minute to reduce Sydney FC's lead at the top back to five points.
The result marked Phoenix's first defeat in three games at QBE Stadium and they only had themselves to blame with Roy Krishna, Nathan Burns and Sarpreet Singh all guilty of squandering opportunities.
Ernie Merrick will be concerned by the way his side were regularly carved open, but Ronny Vargas' first appearance since Round 3 and the possibility of a push for the Premiers Plate offered plenty of comfort.
Sydney FC 1-2 Brisbane Roar
Sydney FC's winless wobble stretched to four competitive matches as Brisbane Roar banked a precious 2-1 win at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
Matt McKay and Jacob Pepper were both on target inside 20 minutes to leave the champions with back-to-back Hyundai A-League defeats for the first time since April 2016.
Milos Ninkovic halved the deficit just shy of the hour, but the best their late rally produced was a Matt Simon shot against the post.
Instead, Brisbane clinched a third successive away victory that moves them just two points shy of the top six.
Melbourne Victory 5-2 Central Coast Mariners
Besart Berisha struck a hat-trick as Melbourne Victory ran riot in a 5-2 win over Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park on Sunday.
With eight goals in his previous seven against the Mariners, Berisha found the perfect opponent to put a turbulent week behind him as he netted midway through the first half and added a further two in the second stanza.
Leroy George had earlier opened the scoring and Victory took command from there, leapfrogging rivals Melbourne City into third.
Christian Theoharous got in on the act with his first Hyundai A-League goal, before Connor Pain snatched a pair of late consolations on a difficult day for Central Coast that also saw Antony Golec sustain a suspected fractured tibia.