SYDNEY (AP) — Defending champion Sydney FC will end the year atop the A-League after beating last-placed Wellington 4-1 on Saturday.
A hat trick by Brazil striker Bobo, who also set up a goal for Adrian Mierzejewski, gave Sydney its 10th win in 12 games and lifted it five points clear of Newcastle with one round remaining before the end of 2017.
Newcastle laid down the gauntlet to Sydney with a 4-0 win over the troubled Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday.
Western Sydney assistant coach, former Socceroo Hayden Foxe resigned after the loss which continued the troubled tenure of coach Josep Gombau.
Newcastle will finish the year second, moving seven points clear of Melbourne City, which went down to the Melbourne Victory 1-0 on Saturday. Mark Milligan converted a penalty six minutes into stoppage time to lift the Victory into fourth place and to avoid the first scoreless draw in four years in the Melbourne derby.
Wellington will end the year in last place with one win from 11 games, the worst start to a season in club history.