Friday 18 August 2017 / 05:34 AM

A-LEAGUE ROUND 27 WRAP

Two new A-League records achieved, goals galore and a keeper error for the ages. It was a crazy final round of the regular season in the A-League. Here’s how it all happened as we head towards the finals.

Berisha’s milestone goal gets Victory home

Melbourne Victory needed only one goal to down the Central Coast, and it was a special one for star striker Besart Berisha who celebrated becoming the first player to reach 100 goals in the A-League competition. The result snapped a three-game winless streak for Melbourne, who finish the season in second position on the ladder. The match was close through the first hour, with the Central Coast holding Victory out and missing a golden chance to score one themselves when Roy O’Donovan broke through but fired straight at Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas. But with 10 minutes remaining Jai Ingham squared the ball for Berisha to power home from close range for the match-winner.

FC achieve record haul, consign Jets to wooden spoon

It was a somewhat fitting end to the regular season as the runaway Premier’s Plate winners, Sydney FC, reached a new competition record of 66 points in a single campaign, and simultaneously sent the Newcastle Jets down to receive the wooden spoon. It took 56 minutes for Sydney to open the scoring, with Bobo starting a movement in the middle of the park which finished with Milos Ninkovic tapping home from close range. Half an hour later captain Alex Brosque doubled the advantage with a quality volley into the back of the net. Newcastle will rue a huge missed opportunity just before the break when they were awarded a penalty, only for Andrew Nabbout to smash the attempt up over the goal. In the hours which followed Newcastle, perhaps unsurprisingly, parted ways with coach Mark Jones.

Adelaide dodge the spoon with point against Wanderers

A penalty each way and a third which was missed right on half-time made for an entertaining night at Coopers Stadium as Adelaide and Western Sydney played out a 2-2 draw. A Marcelo Carrusca penalty on 10 minutes gave United the lead, before the Argentine turned provider for Sergio Cirio’s goal 28 minutes later. Wanderers were then awarded a penalty of their own right before the break, but Nico Martinez had his attempt saved by a brilliant effort from Adelaide keeper Eugene Galekovic. Just after the hour mark Western Sydney finally got their goal via skipper Dimas, before Steven Lustica’s penalty 10 minutes later equalled scores. It was a huge result for United, with the point lifting them away from the wooden spoon zone, while for Western Sydney it means a sixth-placed finish heading into the finals.

Nix blow big lead as Holman brace saves Roar

It was a result which neatly summed up Wellington’s campaign of missed opportunities, as the Phoenix gave up a 3-1 lead at half-time to go down 4-3 to a resilient Brisbane Roar. Despite their play-offs hopes being over, the Phoenix made an inspired start to the match with Fijian forward Roy Krishna zipping through to open the scoring on six minutes. Veteran No.10 Brett Holman then equalised with an absolute bullet past Lewis Italiano, but the Nix scored twice before the break through Gui Finkler and Michael McGlinchey to ease the pressure. A spectacular self-destruction in the second 45 minutes saw Wellington leak three goals, with the prolific Roar running riot to net via Brandon Borrello, Jamie McLaren, who sealed the golden boot award as top goalscorer in the process, and a second to Holman to run out 4-3 winners and finish the regular season in third position.

Nine-goal thriller closes regular season

Perth Glory and Melbourne City played out a crazy match to conclude the round and regular season on Sunday, with Glory surviving a late City surge to win 5-4. Diego Castro’s fifth-minute penalty opened the scoring before Tim Cahill’s powerful left boot evened things up 16 minutes later in what would prove to be the last goal of the first half. Perth then took complete control of the encounter with further goals to Andy Keogh, Chris Harold and Nebo Marinkovic to lead comfortably at 4-1. Enter the City comeback, as Melbourne netted through Cahill again and Nico Colazo to make trail 4-3 with six minutes remaining in normal time. Adam Taggart eased fears with his goal on 88 minutes to take Perth back out to a 5-3 lead, before Glory keeper Liam Reddy conceded following a bizarre attempt to dribble his way through the heart of the opposition, with Nick Fitzgerald hitting the loose ball from distance to finish the scoring at 5-4.

[YouTube – Matchday Highlights]

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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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