A goalkeeping howler saw Central Coast Mariners lose 1-0 to Perth Glory today, seeing their lead in Australia's A-League cut to two points. Mathew Ryan allowed a cross to slip through his outstretched gloves for Travis Dodd to pounce in the 24th minute.
Central Coast, with just one win from their past seven A-League outings, now lead champions Brisbane Roar by two points with two rounds left until the finals series. The Mariners, who encountered freezing conditions in their mid-week scoreless AFC Champions League draw against Tianjin Teda in China, had to contend with temperatures in Perth of 36C (97F).
Brisbane Roar needed a 70th-minute equaliser from Albanian striker Besart Berisha to grab a 1-1 draw at home against lowly Adelaide United. Adelaide went ahead in the 14th minute through Iain Ramsay and Brisbane missed several chances before Berisha netted his 18th goal of the season.
Wellington Phoenix virtually ensured a third successive play-off campaign and a home final with a late goal from Paul Ifill. Ifill's 20-metre strike in the 80th minute grabbed his side a 1-1 draw against Melbourne Heart in Melbourne on Saturday after Eli Babalj put Heart ahead on 32 minutes.
A dramatic Nikolai Topor-Stanley goal in the 90th minute gave the Newcastle Jets a 1-1 draw with bottom team Gold Coast United in Newcastle on Friday. United had scored on 24 minutes with a clinical strike from Daniel Bowles but were unable to hang on as the Jets surged into fifth spot in the standings.
Sydney FC treated their crowd of 18,000, the biggest of the season, to a much-needed 1-0 win that ended Melbourne Victory's faint finals hopes. Karol Kisel's first-half penalty proved the difference and Melbourne's Socceroo star Harry Kewell was kept quiet in a loss that dealt a further blow to caretaker coach Jim Magilton's hopes of earning a fulltime job.