A-League wrap: Sydney surprise Central Coast
By Football News
Brett Emerton's goal just one minute from time has earned Sydney FC a 1-0 upset win over A-League leaders Central Coast Mariners.
The visiting Mariners finished the match with nine men after captain John Hutchinson and playmaker Tom Rogic were sent off in a fiery finish to the contest on Thursday.
Hutchinson was dismissed for two bookable offences while Rogic was given a straight red for a horror challenge on Sky Blues defender Rhyan Grant.
In the battle of the A-League's top and bottom clubs, Sydney FC produced a spirited performance and claimed the victory they deserved when Emerton leapt above Josh Rose at the back post to meet Ali Abbas' cross and diverted his header over Mat Ryan and into the far corner of the net.
The loss was Central Coast's first in 10 games and capped off a difficult day as the Mariners only arrived at the ground less than an hour before kick-off after a mix-up with the team bus.
Sydney FC's fourth win of the season took them above Melbourne Heart on the A-League ladder after the latter gave up a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 away to Wellington Phoenix.
Heart were two goals ahead after just 15 minutes thanks to a fine free-kick from Golgol Mehbratu and an own goal from Phoenix captain Andrew Durante.
But Wellington hit back in the 21st minute when Louis Fenton scored, while Jeremy Brockie's two goals in four second-half minutes ensured the Phoenix claimed three points.
Brockie scored his first from the spot in the 66th minute and the 25-year-old striker produced a nice shot on the turn for the winning goal.
In Perth, Nick Ward struck in the 87th minute to earn the Glory a 1-1 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers.
The Wanderers travelled to Perth looking for their fourth consecutive victory and despite head coach Tony Popovic making six changes to the team that thrashed Adelaide United 6-1 last week, the visitors led 1-0 at half-time thanks to Labinot Haliti's strike.
But as Western Sydney tired in the second half, Perth gained momentum and Ryo Nagai's cross produced the equaliser as it was lashed home at the back post by Ward.