Sydney FC moved to the top of the Australian A-League after veteran Steve Corica scored the only goal of the game in his side's 1-0 win over Adelaide United in Sydney on Sunday.
Corica, 36, pounced four minutes after the break to give Sydney the points against a woeful Adelaide outfit. The win moves Sydney to 38 points, three clear of defending champions Melbourne Victory, who later suffered a shock 1-0 loss to bottom-placed North Queensland Fury.
"My players showed good character," Sydney manager Vitezslav Lavicka said. "We played good football, especially in the first half. We created a couple of good chances, didn't score but still we've got passion and Steve hit the three points at the start of the second half."
In the later match, played in sweltering conditions and high humidity in the North Queensland city of Townsville, Dutchman Dyron Daal scored a sublime goal 31 minutes into the match as the Fury outplayed their more fancied rivals. Daal, who has played international football for the Netherlands Antilles, chested down a Robbie Fowler cross and in one move swivelled and hammered the ball into the bottom left corner.
The Fury moved off the bottom of the ladder with the win, while Melbourne surrendered the lead for the first time in seven weeks.
On Saturday, Gold Coast United made it three from three against local rivals Brisbane Roar with a crushing 5-1 win at home. New Zealand international Shane Smeltz grabbed a hat-trick and Kristian Rees scored twice against a disappointing Brisbane as the Gold Coast kept the pressure on Sydney and Melbourne. However, their win was soured by a knee injury to Socceroo Jason Culina, who is expected to be out of action for at least two weeks.
The Perth Glory ended Newcastle's four-game winning streak with an equally impressive 4-0 win in the West Australian capital. Wellington Phoenix host the Central Coast Mariners on Monday to wrap up round 21.