Adelaide United carved out a hard-fought 1-0 win over Perth Glory to retain a one-point lead as all their Australian A-League title rivals posted victories this weekend.
Midfielder Kristian Sarkies scored the winner for in the 40th minute, but Adelaide also had goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic to thank for the victory after he pulled off a terrific reflex save in the 90th minute. Aurelio Vidmar's team have games in hand on their rivals after their FIFA Club World Cup campaign in Japan earlier this month, and they remain favourites for the A-League premiership with four rounds left to next month's finals.
An injury-time free kick from 17-year-old rookie Tommy Oar gave Queensland Roar a 3-2 win over Wellington Phoenix on Sunday and second place on goal difference over Melbourne Victory. Oar came on as a substitute with 30 minutes left and it was his scorching left-foot drive that clinched all the points for the Roar, who twice fought back from a goal down at home.
Substitutes Nick Ward and Ney Fabiano both grabbed late goals as Melbourne Victory completed a comeback 3-2 win over Sydney FC in Melbourne on Saturday. It was the third straight defeat for Sydney, who are now struggling to stay in touch with the top four and under pressure after starting the season as title favourites. For the Victory it broke a three-game losing run with spectacular goals through Archie Thompson, Ward and Brazilian Fabiano.
Central Coast Mariners crushed champions Newcastle Jets' finals hopes and boosted their own, coming from behind to win 2-1 in Newcastle on Friday to stay fourth, just two points behind Adelaide. A second-half strike by Sasho Petrovski and an 80th-minute winner from substitute Matt Simon gave the Mariners a vital win after an early Joel Griffiths penalty had put the Jets in front. The loss means the Jets' title defence is almost certainly over, and leaves them ten points off the top four.