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A-League review - Week 22: Roar remain undefeated, Sydney go two in a row and Victory demolished

Week 22 of the A-League's weekend matches were completed on Sunday evening when Central Coast Mariners defeated Wellington Phoenix 1-0.

Michael McGlinchey's 41st minute goal was the difference, allowing the Mariners to go four points clear in third place with their third win in their past four matches.

Graham Arnold's men kept their 10th clean sheet of the season and have now put themselves in a good position to finish second on the table as they are just four points behind Adelaide United but have three games in hand.

The loss kept the Phoenix in seventh on the table, leaving them a point in arrears of sixth-placed Melbourne Heart.

In other A-League matches, league leaders Brisbane Roar extended their unbeaten run to 20 matches when they rallied to score an equaliser against Perth glory at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

Mitch Nichols capped a stellar performance as an attacking midfielder with a 63rd minute header which canceled out Mile Sterjovski's 31st minute opener.

On Saturday, Sydney FC kept their finals hopes alive with a second consecutive win when they defeated fourth-placed Gold Coast United 2-0 at Sydney Football Stadium.

Youngster Dimitri Petratos and Finnish recruit Juko Mahela picked a good time to score their first A-League goals to help guide the reigning champions to a potentially season-saving victory.

Another team to keep their season alive was the Newcastle Jets who comprehensively beat North Queensland Fury 3-1 at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

Early goals from Ruben Zadkovich and Labinot Haliti were supported by Ryan Griffiths' first A-League goal before Fury defender Mark Hughes converted a late penalty.

The Jets are now sitting eighth, just two points out of the top six ahead of Tuesday's rescheduled clash with the Fury at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

And finally, Adelaide United ended a 10-match losing streak against the Melbourne Victory with a dominant 4-1 performance at AAMI Park.

Marcos Flores was the architect for the win, scoring the first goal, before Sergio van Dijk netted twice and Fabian Barbiero got in on the act as Victory captain Kevin Muscat saw red halfway through the second half.

The second-placed Reds bridged the gap with the Roar to nine points whilst the Victory stayed fifth but hurt their hopes of finishing in the top two.

Brisbane Roar: 1 (Mitch NICHOLS 63') Perth Glory: 1 (Mile STERJOVSKI 31') Friday, 7 January 2010 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Referee: Jarred Gillett Crowd: 11,574 Yellow cards:BR - Nil PG - Jacob BURNS 58', Andy TODD 73'

Sydney FC:2 (Dimitri PETRATOS 32', Juho MAKELA 90'+2) Gold Coast United: 0 Saturday, 8 January 2010 Sydney Football Stadium, SydneyReferee: Chris Beath Crowd: 6,135 Yellow cards:SYD - Sung-Hwan BYUN 65', Terry MCFLYNN 68' GCU - Bas VAN DEN BRINK 60' Red card:GCU - Steve FITZSIMMONS 64'

North Queensland Fury: 1 (Mark HUGHES 90'+4 (pen)) Newcastle Jets:3 (Ruben ZADKOVICH 12', Labinot HALITI 14', Ryan GRIFFITHS 69') Saturday, 8 January 2010 Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville Referee: Ryan Shepheard Crowd: 4,315 Yellow cards:NQF - Mark HUGHES 40', Jack HINGERT 45'+1, Ramazan TAVSANCIOGLU 45'+3, Eric AKOTO 46' NJ - Nikolai TOPOR STANLEY 41', Kasey WEHRMAN 90'+4

Melbourne Victory: 1 (Mate DUGANDZIC 90+3') Adelaide United:4 (Marcos FLORES 12', Sergio VAN DIJK 56'/78', Fabian BARBIERO 74') Sunday, 9 January 2010 AAMI Park, Melbourne Referee: Peter Green Crowd: 18,558 Yellow cards:MV - RICARDINHO 26', Kevin MUSCAT 56'/64', Evan BERGER 76', Danny ALLSOPP 81', Marvin ANGULO 86' AU - Francisco USUCAR 46', Fabian BARBIERO 76', Marcos FLORES 79' Red card:MV - Kevin MUSCAT 64'

Central Coast Mariners:1 (Michael McGLINCHEY 41') Wellington Phoenix: 0 Sunday, 9 January 2010 Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Referee: Matthew Breeze Crowd: 6,844 Yellow cards:CCM - nil WP - Manny MUSCAT 44', Andrew DURANTE 82'

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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