Normal service resumed for Sydney FC as they picked up win number 15 for the season, while the Perth Glory took advantage of slip-ups from Brisbane and Melbourne City to jump up the ladder. Check out our Round 21 A-League wrap right here.
Leaders bounce back in style
After having their 19-match unbeaten run ended last weekend, top-of-the-table Sydney FC got back to winning ways with a convincing 3-1 win over Melbourne City on Friday night. A clumsy foul from Manny Muscat saw him concede a 24th-minute penalty and pick up a yellow card, with Sydney FC’s Bobo converting for the lead. The joy was short lived, with City’s Nick Fitzgerald taking the ball all the way to goal from the ensuing kick-off to equalise once again. After Muscat was given his marching orders following a second yellow, Sydney took full advantage by bagging further goals via Brandon O’Neill and a second to Bobo from a free kick, to secure the victory. To their credit Melbourne refused to go away even when reduced to 10 men, but couldn’t match a dominant Sky Blue side.
Gutsy Nix win to end horror week
Without two first-choice players who were dropped for breaching team standards, and coming off their second biggest defeat of the season last weekend, Wellington rallied to grab an unlikely 2-1 victory over Brisbane. Strikes from international forwards Shane Smeltz and Roy Krishna, just after the half hour and hour marks respectively, gave Wellington a comfortable buffer, before a late charge from the Roar saw Brandon Borrello score and force Wellington to go into full survival mode. Wellington’s second ever victory in Brisbane keeps them in reach of the top six, while the loss was the Roar’s first in their last six A-League matches, coming at the end of a torrid run of games in both the domestic comp and Asian Champions League.
— Morgan (@zealmanNZ) February 25, 2017
Victory survive late scare against cellar-dwellers
The Melbourne Victory edged past last-placed Adelaide United 2-1 thanks to a stunning free kick from Marco Rojas and an equally skilful effort from Besart Berisha. But while Melbourne dominated the majority of the clash at AAMI Park, they had a late fright when Adelaide veteran Tarek Elrich scored to make it 2-1 in the final minute of regulation time. United had defended admirably to keep the A-League’s equal-highest scoring team to zero for the opening 65 minutes, before Rojas broke the deadlock. The win keeps second-placed Melbourne’s hopes of winning the minor premiership alive for another week.
— Melbourne Victory (@gomvfc) February 25, 2017
Glory go third with confident win
Goals in the added time of both halves saw the Perth Glory beat Western Sydney 2-0 and leapfrog both Melbourne City and Brisbane to go third on the ladder. It was Perth’s fourth-straight match unbeaten, with Spanish winger Diego Castro assisting goals to Chris Harold (45+2) and Joel Chianese (90+4). The Glory should have enjoyed a far more comfortable result, with Adam Taggart being denied a goal by a miraculous goal-line clearance on 10 minutes and Wanderers keeper Vedran Janjetovic producing a handful of strong saves for his side. It caps off a tough week for Western Sydney in which they once again hit the headlines due to the poor behaviour of their fans.
3️⃣ points ✅
2️⃣ goals ✅
1️⃣ clean sheet ✅
The best 📸 from last nights win!
— Perth Glory FC (@PerthGloryFC) February 26, 2017
Honours shared in F3 Derby
Newcastle and Central Coast had to settle for a point each on Sunday afternoon, in a 1-1 result which doesn’t particularly help either club’s top-six aspirations. The Jets struck first via the head of Aleksandr Kokko on 20 minutes, but they couldn’t maintain that momentum and were lucky to escape a number of Central Coast shots without leaking an equaliser. Eventually it did arrive for the Mariners, with Scott Galloway burying a shot into the bottom left corner five minutes into the second period. Newcastle are now tied on 22 points with the eighth-paced Wellington Phoenix, while the Mariners sit four points outside of the top six.
Aspirations for finals but only one point to show against 2 bottom teams in the last fortnight. Just not good enough Jets! #F3Derby
— Ivan Hecimovic (@hecivan70) February 26, 2017