Monday 21 August 2017 / 10:53 AM

A-LEAGUE ROUND 19 WRAP

Round 19 of the A-League saw the gap widen at the top of the ladder, and even more pain inflicted on the team sitting at the bottom of it. Here’s our wrap of all five games from a sweltering weekend across Australia.

Sydney FC extend unbeaten run

Top-of-the-table Sydney FC continue their unbeaten season into Round 20, after a 3-1 win over the Wellington Phoenix. FC defender Rhyan Grant opened the scoring with a thumping header on three minutes, before Bobo doubled the advantage. Wellington then enjoyed a period of dominance after Alex Rodriguez netted on the half hour, but a second-half goal to Milos Ninkovic ended any hope of Wellington performing a great escape and lifted Sydney to a result which equals their longest-ever unbeaten run.

Perth destroy hapless Adelaide

Kick-off was delayed by an hour due to the heat in South Australia, but when things did get going it was the visitors who were red hot in an eventual 5-0 victory. An own goal from Iacopo La Rocca started a horror night for defending champions Adelaide, before the Glory scored three goals between minutes 37 and 46 to take a 4-0 lead into the break. Diego Castro (two goals), Adam Taggart and Irish forward Andy Keogh all got on the scoresheet.

City fightback earns Roar draw

The battle between third-placed Brisbane and the team directly behind them, Melbourne City, was just as thrilling as it promised, and in the end they couldn’t be split in a 2-2 draw. Both sides had reason to be below par, with Brisbane coming off a mid-week trip to China where they qualified for the Asian Champions League group stages, and Melbourne City being without nine players through injury or suspension. The match got off to a flying start with Roar striker Jamie Maclaren netting twice to give them a 2-0 lead at the break, but a spirited City comeback saw Bruce Kamau and Nicolas Colazo score twice in three minutes to secure the draw. Melbourne keeper Thomas Sorensen played a huge role in the result, pulling off a number of quality saves across the 90 minutes.

O’Donovan lifts Mariners to upset win

The Central Coast Mariners’ late-season revival is well and truly alive after they picked up a third-straight victory by downing Western Sydney 2-0 on Sunday. Irish No.9 Roy O’Donovan scored twice in the second half, first via a penalty, before his chipped Vedran Janjetovic for the second to give the Central Coast a win which sees them jump to within two points of the A-League’s top six. For the Wanderers the loss means they remain under heavy pressure from the chasing Wellington Phoenix and Mariners, who are both chances of jumping past them on the ladder with wins in the next round. The Mariners spent most of the 2016/17 campaign on or near the bottom of the table, and not so long ago were the favourites to collect the wooden spoon.

Jets and Victory share the spoils

A 0-0 stalemate was enough to see the Newcastle Jets move into the A-League’s top six at the conclusion of Monday night’s game, which was rescheduled from Saturday due to extreme heat in NSW. Despite sitting five places behind Melbourne on the ladder, it was Newcastle who dominated proceedings and enjoyed the majority of the scoring chances, with Ma Leile, Steven Ugarkovic and Morten Nordstrand all forcing saves from Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas. Melbourne had a good chance to steal a win inside the final 20 minutes, but defender Daniel Georgievski struck the post with his powerful effort. It was just the second time this season the Victory have been kept scoreless.

[YouTube – A-League TV]

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About the author

Corey Rosser

One of CBS’s newest contributors, Te Aroha product Corey is the New Zealand correspondent for NRL.com, the editor for the excellent new site Kiwi League Central, and a guru of the local Auckland rugby league scene.

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