Week 17 of the 2010/11 A-League season threw up some interesting results and also provided us with one of the matches of the season.
Friday night at AAMI Park saw league leaders Brisbane Roar surrender a two-goal lead to find themselves behind only to grab an injury-time leveler to get themselves out of jail and stay on just one loss for the season thus far.
But it is the Victory who can count themselves unlucky as the final goal, scored by Roar skipper Matt McKay, came in controversial circumstances after goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos took possession of the ball outside the penalty area which should have lead to a straight red and a free-kick to the Victory.
Instead nothing was called and play went on as normal with Theoklitos' ensuing goal kick ending up with McKay whose first shot was blocked by Victory gloveman Michael Petkovic only to rebound off defender Roddy Vargas and back into the path of McKay for a simple tap-in.
Earlier, Matthew Kemp's return to the Victory line-up for his first match since February did not start as planned as he conceded an own goal on the half-hour mark before Jean Carlos Solorzano became the league's outright leading scorer with a smart flick after a corner was not properly cleared by the Victory defence.
But enter Robbie Kruse who scored with a superb finish against his old club in the 63rd minute before gliding a header into the path of Archie Thompson for the equalizer seven minutes later. A further seven minutes after that, Kruse made it 3-2 with an opportunistic finish to join Solorzano on eight goals for the season prior to McKay's last-gasp equalizer.
In other A-League results, Central Coast Mariners were far too good for Sydney FC thanks to an Adam Kwasnik double, winning 4-0 at home to grab their first full points in four matches, whilst the Newcastle Jets won on the road, beating North Queensland Fury 2-0 in Townsville.
On Sunday, Wellington Phoenix grabbed a late winner through Ben Sigmund in front of just over 14,000 fans in Christchurch as Gold Coast United ran riot at a soggy Skilled Park, beating Melbourne Heart 3-0 thanks to a Jason Culina brace.
Melbourne Victory: 3 (Robbie KRUSE 63'/77', Archie THOMPSON 70') Brisbane Roar: 3 (Matthew KEMP 30' (og), Jean Carlos SOLORZANO 46', Matt McKAY 90'+3) Friday, 3 December 2010 AAMI Park, Melbourne Referee: Peter Green Crowd: 11,886 Yellow cards:MV - Kevin MUSCAT 55', Rodrigo VARGAS 74', Carlos HERNANDEZ 81' BR - nil
Central Coast Mariners:4 (Adam KWASNIK 1'/23', Matt SIMON 5', Sebastian RYALL 46' (og)) Sydney FC: 0 Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium, Gosford Saturday, 4 December 2010 Referee: Mathew Breeze Crowd: 7,160 Yellow cards:CCM - Mustafa AMINI 32' SYD - Sebastian RYALL 20', Terry McFLYNN 29'
North Queensland Fury: 0 Newcastle Jets:2 (Nikolai TOPOR STANLEY 78', Sasho PETROVSKI 90'+3) Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville Saturday, 4 December 2010 Referee: Kurt Ams Crowd: 3,573 Yellow cards:NQF - Ufuk TALAY 81', David WILLIAMS 82' NJ - Ruben ZADKOVICH 30', Ben KANTAROVSKI 89'
Wellington Phoenix:2 (Tim BROWN 46', Ben SIGMUND 90'+4) Adelaide United: 1 (Sergio VAN DIJK 14') AMI Stadium, Christchurch Sunday, 5 December 2010 Referee: Peter O'Leary Crowd: 14,108 Yellow cards:WP - Andrew DURANTE 23', Chris GREENACRE 85', Nick WARD 87' AU - Marcos FLORES 38', Robert CORNTHWAITE 42' Red card:AU - Travis DODD 84'
Gold Coast United:3 (Bas VAN DEN BRINK 40', Jason CULINA 58' (pen)/78') Melbourne Heart: 0 Skilled Park, Gold Coast Sunday, 5 December 2010 Referee: Jarred Gillett Crowd: 1,658 Yellow cards:GCU - Bas VAN DEN BRINK 84' MH - Michael BEAUCHAMP 57', Adrian ZAHRA 65'