Mon, Jan 30, 10:08am by Head Editor
Sydney FC kept their unbeaten season alive on Australia Day, beating their nearest rival, Melbourne Victory, and moving 11 points clear at the top.
The Australia Day Big Blue was witnessed by more than 30,000 fans who were jumping early when James Troisi hit the back of the net with a sweet strike from the edge of the box.
Filip Holosko hit back seven minutes before the break to see the visitors’ draw level before Bernie Ibini showed great strength and pace to beat two defenders to give the ladder leaders a massive three points.
The bad news for the Melbourne clubs continued on Friday night when City were upset by the Jets in Coffs Harbour. In the first match played in the city, the Jets’ jumped into the top six with a gutsy 2-1 win over the Melburnians.
Despite dominating the opening 15 minutes, the visitors went behind when Andrew Nabbout finished a brilliant counter attack to give Newcastle the lead. The winger then made it a brace when he thumped in a brilliant long-range effort in the 52nd minute.
Bruno Fornaroli scored his 12th goal of the campaign 20 minutes later to move one behind Victory talisman Besart Berisha but it wasn’t enough to prevent City drifting from dropping from third to fourth place on the ladder.
The team who replaced City in third place on the table was Brisbane who beat the Wanderers 2-1 thanks to a Brett Holman thunderbolt that was hit so hard it broke through the hands of Wanderers’ keeper Vedran Janjetovic.
Tony Popovic’s side thought they had done enough to get their second straight draw in Brisbane but the 93rd minute goal from the former Socceroo broke the hearts of Western Sydney.
The win was a timely one for the hosts, who take on Phillipines side Global FC in a AFC Champions League qualifier on Tuesday night. They remain at $12 for their first title since 2014 while the Wanderers drifted from $15 to $17.
The Glory’s rollercoaster season continued on Saturday when they lost 2-0 to the Mariners in Gosford. Two goals in five minutes just after the break from Josh Bingham and then Fabio Ferreira secured the hosts a 2-0 win.
The final match of the round was played in stifling conditions in the city of churches when Adelaide hosted Wellington. Despite the 38 degree conditions, the clubs played out an entertaining 2-2 draw.
Australian A-League 2016-2017 (Sportsbet)
Sydney FC $2.50
Melbourne Victory $3.60
Melbourne City $7
Brisbane Roar $12
Perth Glory $13 – $15
Western Sydney Wanderers $17
Newcastle Jets $41 – $26
Wellington Phoenix $34
Adelaide United $51
Central Coast Mariners $101
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