Draws and penalties were the themes of this week’s A-League action, with Brisbane Roar being the only team to claim three points across Round 17 and Perth Glory narrowly holding onto pole position.
Central Coast Mariners 0-2 Brisbane Roar
(Solorzano 50′ , Kaluderovic 90+2′)
Crowd: 6021 @ Central Coast Stadium
Brisbane Roar converted two second half penalties to climb their way into the top six on the Friday night match. Central Coast made several claims for penalties of their own in the first half to no avail, while goal scorer Jean Carlos Solozano left the pitch with a hamstring concern with 15 minutes remaining. A late challenge on Thomas Broich from substitute Anthony Kalik gave Brisbane a final penalty to seal the win in the dying minutes.
Wellington Phoenix 0-0 Melbourne City
Crowd: 9232 @ Hutt Recreational Ground
Eight yellow cards were handed out in the only scoreless game of the round, as Melbourne City travelled to Wellington Phoenix’s temporary ground in Lower Hutt. Damien Duff was forced off the pitch with an injury in the first ten minutes, while Wellington goalkeeper Glenn Moss kept his side in the game with two important saves in the first half hour. Fijian striker Roy Krishna managed to miss a tap-in at the other end that could have lifted the New Zealand outfit into third place.
Newcastle Jets 1-1 Western Sydney Wanderers
(Lee 90+2′ / Santalab 86′)
@ Hunter Stadium
The bottom-of-the-table clash mostly lived up to its billing as both sides with few talking points until the final ten minutes of the game. Western Sydney won a penalty after former teammate Daniel Mullen’s first touch sent the ball into his arm, for Brendan Santalab to coolly convert with a panenka. Western Sydney defender Antony Golec was adjudged to have blocked a shot with his hand to give the beleaguered Newcastle side a penalty of their own late in the game, which new Korean defender Lee Ki-je scored to leave the scores even at the final whistle.
Sydney FC 3-3 Melbourne Victory
(Janko 8′ , Smeltz 73′, 85′ / Barbarouses 34′, Finkler 41′, Ansell 78′,)
Crowd: 17356 @ Allianz Stadium
Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat left Sydney with steam coming out of his ears as his side dropped points with the aid of a controversial penalty decision that stopped them from finishing the round at the top of the table. The free scoring Melbourne side came back from an early Mark Janko spot kick to lead at half time, before referee Strebre Delovski called a foul on Gui Finkler against Sebastian Ryall for Sydney FC to pull level with a Shane Smeltz penalty. Nicholas Ansell put the visitors ahead again before Smeltz scored a header from open play to end the game with a stalemate.
Adelaide United 1-1 Perth Glory
(Cirio 11′ / Marinkovic 53′)
Crowd: 9711 @ Coopers Stadium
The only game on Sunday saw less than 10,000 people brave the early heat of Adelaide to see Perth Glory take two points away from the home side. With both teams looking to bounce back from disappointing defeats last round, Sergio Cirio opened the scoring with a chip over Danny Vukovic before a second half stunner by Nebojsa Marinkovic settled the affair and kept Perth Glory at the top of the table by a solitary point.