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Melbourne, Gold Coast share A-League lead

Melbourne, Gold Coast share A-League lead

Gold Coast moved into the top rung of Australian football's A-League with a 1-0 win over co-leaders Melbourne, while Sydney passed up a chance to regain first place when it lost to Brisbane in weekend 25th-round games.
The league's match review panel was expected to be kept busy by Friday's ill-tempered match between Gold Coast and Melbourne, which was decided by Zenon Caravella's 76th-minute goal.
Seven yellow cards _ five in the second half _ were dished out at Skilled Park including one to Gold Coast and former Melbourne defender Steve Pantelidis, who has already served three suspensions this season for yellow card offenses.
Sydney FC dominated its match against Brisbane but lost the chance to go top of the ladder when it conceded an 89th-minute goal to Sergio van Dijk.
The loss left Sydney in third place, two points behind Melbourne and Gold Coast. Melbourne leads on goal difference.
Sydney captain Steve Corica regretted his team's lost opportunity.
"I think we were the better team tonight," he said. "We had our chances and really we should have wrapped it up by halftime. But we get on with it _ we know have two very important games at home."
Sydney will play Perth and Melbourne in its last two matches as it attempts to reclaim top spot ahead of the league finals.
Wellington is almost assured of a place in the playoffs after a 1-0 win in Christchurch over last-placed Adelaide. The Phoenix gave up their regular home ground at Wellington to the Australian rock group AC/DC but drew a crowd of 19,200 at their new home venue.
They sent fans home happy with a first-half goal to Jon McKain.
"I'm just really proud," coach Ricki Herbert said. "What more could we ask for coming off the back of six (goals) against and in front of 19,200 people you have to deliver don't you? I'm really proud, really proud."
Perth played the Central Coast on Sunday to conclude the round.
The match between North Queensland and Newcastle at Townsville was postponed Saturday because of torrential rain caused by tropical cyclone Olga. The match will be played Tuesday.


Updated : 2021-04-15 16:47 GMT+08:00