Week 18 provided wins for four of the top five sides on the A-League table as the bottom three start to experience difficulty in keeping in touch with the finals.
Friday night saw Adelaide United notch up their seventh win in a row at Hindmarsh Stadium with a 2-0 result over North Queensland Fury who remained rooted to the bottom of the table. Marcos Flore and Sergio van Dijk did the damage for the Reds who are four points clear in second but seven points in arrears of league leaders Brisbane Roar.
On Saturday night, Melbourne Victory kicked into gear and showed the competition that they are still a genuine threat with a solid 3-1 win over derby rivals Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park. Robbie Kruse chipped in with a double to take his season tally to 10 goals and mark himself as the in-form striker in the A-League.
Bas van den Brink and James Brown scored the goals as third-placed Gold Coast United brushed aside a traveling Wellington Phoenix outfit 2-0 at Skilled Park whilst on Sunday, the Roar got the job done with a narrow 1-0 win over Sydney FC to extend their unbeaten run to 16 matches.
And finally, Perth Glory were cruelly denied a win by Central Coast Mariners who managed an 87th minute equalizer which was full of controversy. Referee Gerard Parsons failed to award a free-kick to the Glory despite Mariners forward Daniel McBreen fouling Josh Risdon seconds before Patrick Zwaanswijk's header which enabled the visitors to grab a point against the odds to remain fourth.
Adelaide United:2 (Marcos FLORES 5', Sergio VAN DIJK 16') North Queensland Fury: 0 Friday, 10 December 2010 Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide Referee: Mathew Gillett Crowd: 8,786 Yellow cards:AU - nil NQF - Panagiotis NIKAS 85'
Melbourne Heart: 1 (Gerald SIBON 8') Melbourne Victory:3 (Robbie KRUSE 12'/28', Adrian LEIJER 54') AAMI Park, Melbourne Saturday, 11 December 2010 Referee: Chris Beath Crowd: 23,059 Yellow cards:MH - Nick KALMAR 42', Michael MARRONE 47', Adrian ZAHRA 69', Wayne SRHOJ 90'+1 MV - Billy CELESKI 39', Carlos HERNANDEZ 68', Diogo FERREIRA 90'+2
Gold Coast United:2 (Bas VAN DEN BRINK 21', James BROWN 66') Wellington Phoenix: 0 Skilled Park, Gold Coast Saturday, 11 December 2010 Referee: Allan Milliner Crowd: 1,716 Yellow cards:GCU - Dino DJULBIC 50', James BROWN 70', Andrew BARISIC 84', Kristian REES 89' WP - Vince LIA 26', Ben SIGMUND 49', Andrew DURANTE 52', Jade NORTH 65'
Sydney FC: 0 Brisbane Roar:1 (Kosta BARBAROUSES 41') Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Sunday, 12 December 2010 Referee: Jarred Gillett Crowd: 7,554 Yellow cards:SYD - Shannon COLE 25', Hayden FOXE 90'+1 BR - Matt SMITH 49'
Perth Glory: 1 (Josh MITCHELL 4') Central Coast Mariners: 1 (Patrick ZWAANSWIJK 87') nib Stadium, Perth Sunday, 12 December 2010 Referee: Gerard Parsons Crowd: 6,536 Yellow cards:PG - Robbie FOWLER 33' CCM - nil