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Saturday, December 17, 2011
Mariners go top as Roar lose again

he Central Coast Mariners claimed the outright lead in the A-League as they saw off Brisbane Roar 2-1 at the Suncorp Stadium.

• A-League: Gold Coast end losing run

The win was a fifth in succession for the Mariners, runners-up in the competition last season, and a fourth defeat on the bounce for Roar, who are now three points adrift of their opponents having played a game more.

The out-of-form Roar surged out of the starting blocks full of determination, but the optimism lasted just minutes before the visitors took the wind out of their sails with the first of their two first-half goals arriving in just the sixth minute.

Brisbane defused the dangerous Bernie Ibini only for Michael Theoklitos to make a meal of his goal kick, passing directly to the feet of Mustafa Amini, who trapped and fired, scraping his long-range effort in off the underside of the bar and leaving the experienced Roar stopper red-faced.

Central Coast's Matt Simon botched two chances in the final five minutes of the first half, before the Mariners doubled their lead through Pedj Bojic, who took another great through-ball and guided his shot past Theoklitos with great composure.

Brisbane were the dominant side through the second half, building posession and finding their passing game as the visitors began to slow, resuting in an 82nd-minute consolation from substitute Kofi Danning.

Sydney FC came from behind to beat the Newcastle Jets 2-1 at the Ausgrid Stadium.

The Jets controlled play in the first half and deservedly took a 1-0 lead into the break after a crisp Jeremy Brockie volley in the 25th minute.

But Sydney showed more venom in the second half and duly equalised through Bruno Cazarine on the hour mark.

Sydney substitute Juho Makela completed a spirited comeback with a glancing header six minutes from full-time to give the Sky Blues a well-earned win.

Melbourne Heart edged above Sydney into third with a 2-1 away win against Perth Glory.

Matt Thompson put the visitors ahead in the 33rd minute but Billy Mehmet levelled two minutes later for Glory.

The game appeared set to end in a draw until Mate Dugandzic scored with four minutes left.




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