Premiers' Plate winners Sydney FC suffered a second straight defeat as Melbourne City fired a warning ahead of the A-League Finals, recording a 2-0 victory. 

Wellington Phoenix's 1-1 draw against Adelaide United last weekend handed Sydney a record fourth title for finishing top in the regular season, but this defeat left them with just one win in their past five matches. 

This was Melbourne's first match since the restart yet they showed no sign of rust and it required a string of first-half saves from Andrew Redmayne to keep it goalless at the interval. 

Craig Noone and Jamie Maclaren found the net in the second half to give second-placed Melbourne a boost in their bid to claim a first-round bye. 

Noone made the breakthrough in the 57th minute, taking advantage of a mishap between Paulo Retre and Redmayne to pass into an empty net. 

And Maclaren made sure of the three points when capitalising on more hesitancy in the Sydney defence - this time from Ryan McGowan - to score his competition-leading 19th A-League goal of the season. 

Athletic Bilbao great Markel Susaeta will not return for the resumption of the 2019-20 coronavirus-affected A-League season after terminating his Melbourne City contract.

City confirmed on Tuesday that former Athletic captain Susaeta mutually agreed to terminate his contract with immediate effect due to family reasons.

Susaeta, who joined City from Japanese giants Gamba Osaka in January on a six-month deal, has returned to Spain after not joining his team-mates in New South Wales quarantine ahead of the season restart.

The 32-year-old winger scored two goals and set up another for City – part of the City Football Group (CFG) – in 10 appearances before the league was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The club would like to thank Markel for his contribution over the past season and wishes him well for the future," City said in a statement.

City were second in the table after 23 matches prior to the coronavirus crisis, eight points behind leaders and defending champions Sydney FC.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) released the schedule for the remaining matches of the coronavirus-hit A-League season, with a bonanza of 27 games in 28 matches before a quick-fire finals series.

The 2019-20 A-League campaign has been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 crisis, but Australia's premier football competition is set to restart on July 16 followed by a five-game finals series – the Grand Final to take place on August 23.

A derby between Melbourne Victory and Western United – originally scheduled for AAMI Park in Melbourne – will be played at a stadium still to be determined due to a spike in coronavirus cases in the state.

Six venues will be used in New South Wales and Queensland with the potential for more to be added subject to government regulations – ANZ Stadium (NSW), Bankwest Stadium (NSW), Central Coast Stadium (NSW), McDonald Jones Stadium (NSW), Jubilee Stadium (NSW) and Cbus Stadium (QLD).

"Over the past three months all stakeholders have been working hard together with one goal in mind – To finish what we started," FFA's Head of Leagues Greg O'Rourke said on Wednesday.

"We know the COVID-19 environment has been very difficult for many people in our community and we hope that delivering an extravaganza of matches will allow our fans to basically see a game everyday will be a unique experience for those who have stood by us.

"As we are a truly national game, the current border controls means that some of the match day venues may need to change, however we have secured venues in both a NSW Hub model and a hybrid hub model which has most games in NSW but allows for a few games in other states.

"Whilst we don't see the draw changing, the planning we have undertaken provides us with agility to shift between certain states if required. This version of the draw displays our current venue plan.

"We will continue to work with the Federal and State governments to ensure the health and safety of our players, coaches and other stakeholders and have detailed and practical protocols in place for all parties involved in training and match days.

"I am excited to see us kick off the restart and ultimately finish off what we started last October, with our priority always being to be in a position to crown our Hyundai A-League premiers and champions for this season."

Defending champions Sydney FC top the table by eight points through 20 matches, though second-placed Melbourne City have played three games less.

"When you play the first match in old San Mames, you can say that you can die, it's crazy."

Born in Eibar – around a 50km journey to Bilbao in the Basque Country – Markel Susaeta epitomised what it meant to play for Athletic Bilbao.

Susaeta spent the majority of his career at Athletic, where he made 507 appearances – only four players in the history of the club have managed more, Jose Angel Iribar (614), Jose Francisco Rojo (541), Joseba Etxeberria (514) and Andoni Iraola (510).

The Spanish winger even wore the captain's armband and won the Supercopa de Espana in 2015 before departing his beloved Athletic in 2019, having first donned the iconic red and white stripes in 2007.

Susaeta made his goalscoring senior debut away to Barcelona 13 years ago and stepped out onto Sam Mames for the first time a fortnight later, scoring a free-kick in a 1-1 draw with Real Zaragoza.

"When you play the first match, you are in heaven. You never thought you could play in that stadium and the supporters are amazing – always helping the team," Susaeta told Stats Perform News.

Athletic are a team who continue to play by their own rules. The Basque-only policy has captivated football and the sporting world, with Los Leones only picking players from one region since 1912.

Despite football's transformation by globalisation, Athletic remain defiant to their roots – only those born or raised in the Basque Country, which is made up of four provinces in north-east Spain and three in south-west France, eligible to represent the club. Rivals Real Sociedad operated a similar policy until 1989.

While it may come across as a disadvantage, limiting Athletic in the transfer market, the Spanish team have never been relegated from LaLiga while adhering to the famed policy. They have lost stars over the years, but the region continues to be a breeding ground for talent.

"For the kids of Basque Country, Real Sociedad, Athletic, many, many kids… I think more kids want to play for Athletic Bilbao," Susaeta said. "When you go to the first division, all the players, it's difficult to keep all the players at Athletic because all the players aren't the same, different things for their future. Kepa [Arrizabalaga] went to Chelsea, [Ander] Herrera went to Manchester United, [Fernando] Llorente went to Juventus, Javi Martinez Bayern Munich.

"Many players they went to other big clubs but a lot of players, more than the players that go, they stay at Athletic. For that reason, Athletic in the last 12-13 years, play very good football, a very good level. One year we played in the Champions League, we won one Supercopa, we played in three, four finals for the Copa del Rey. It's very difficult but Athletic always does things well."

"Athletic are the most special team in the world for me, what can I say? The philosophy that the people that aren't from Basque Country, they love Athletic's philosophy because it's different to other teams from the world," Susaeta added. "The kids love Athletic, they only like Athletic Bilbao. They don't like Barcelona, Madrid, they like Athletic Bilbao. This love is different than the other clubs."

Susaeta is an example of Athletic's production line, which is now headlined by the likes of young stars Inaki Williams and Unai Nunez. The 32-year-old Susaeta came through the ranks, spending one season with farm team Basconia and another with the B team before being thrust into the first-team picture in 2007.

The one-time Spain international was a vital member of Athletic's stunning Supercopa de Espana triumph under former boss Ernesto Valverde five years ago – a 5-1 two-legged rout of Barca ending a 31-year wait for silverware.

A three-time Copa del Rey finalist, Susaeta also experienced Athletic's unforgettable journey to the 2012 Europa League final, with Marcelo Bielsa at the helm.

"With Marcelo, you play a very intense football. He always wants to play the ball, for example, he likes man-marking. It's a little bit crazy to keep the whole season with man-marking. We spent two years with him but with Marcelo, it was the best football I ever played," Susaeta said as he compared the two coaches.

"With Valverde, we played in the Champions League. It's more difficult because after Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid, it's a very crazy season. With Valverde, you're more regular in defending and attacking, all the team go together. It's different. But the best football, the more attractive football that I ever played was with Bielsa."

Athletic lost the all-Spanish Europa League decider in 2012, beaten 3-0 by Atletico Madrid in Bucharest. While Bielsa's men left Arena Nationala emptyhanded, their campaign was a memorable one, having outclassed Alex Ferguson's Manchester United in the last 16 – a shock 3-2 victory at Old Trafford the highlight.

It was a famous win for Athletic, who came from behind to record a first win on English soil and Susaeta said: "It's the one of the most important matches in my life. We played at Old Trafford and we played amazing football. That morning, with Bielsa, we trained for two hours, doing sprints. It was crazy.

"In the evening, we won playing amazing football. It was a very good memories because that year we won against very good European clubs but in the final we were tired, I don't know what happened but we couldn't win the final."

Susaeta was also fortunate to play in both the old San Mames and new San Mames, which opened in 2013.

"In the old San Mames, I played my first match, in that stadium, we played very good football with Bielsa – a crazy year with two finals," he added. "In the other San Mames, we played in the Champions League. In the two stadiums, I have very good memories. They are two very special stadiums."

Susaeta now finds himself playing for Melbourne City in Australia after a difficult spell with Japanese giants Gamba Osaka.

A January arrival, Susaeta had scored two goals and set up another for City – part of the City Football Group (CFG) – before the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked about a possible Athletic return after his unceremonious exit last year, Susaeta replied: "I don't want to see the future, I want to live the present. I'm very happy in Melbourne and Australia, it's a very good country and city. I'm very happy with my club and team-mates. My family is happy here and we want to stay here longer. Now it's very crazy the situation but I hope we can train again in a few weeks and finish the season in a few months.

"Japan was very difficult for me and my family because many things are different. Here we feel very good, we feel happy. My kids are happy in childcare. Here everything is perfect. I'm very happy in the football. For me, it's perfect. I'm very happy here and I hope I can stay here more years."

Sydney FC were never going to be stopped in the race for the A-League Premiers' Plate, but one club joined them in red-hot form late in the regular season.

The campaign was suspended last month due to the coronavirus pandemic with the Sky Blues on track to win a record fourth premiership.

Steve Corica's men were eight points clear and had three games in hand when the season was stopped.

Using Opta data, we predict the rest of the A-League regular season and while Sydney FC were unstoppable, one other club hit fine form.

 

SYDNEY MATCH POINTS RECORD

The Sky Blues' dominance continued late in the regular season.

Sydney went on to win each of their final six games and 21 of 26 to end up 17 points clear atop the table.

Only one team matched such a run late in the season – and they went on to finish second, a position that was held by Melbourne City when the campaign was suspended.

Sydney also matched their record points haul from 2016-17 with 66 points, despite playing one fewer game.

GLORIOUS PERTH PURR

Perth Glory, third when the season was stopped, also grabbed six wins from six to charge into second place.

With four of their last six at home and their two trips being to Western Sydney Wanderers and Adelaide United, Perth found form to secure a home Semi-Final.

Sydney and Perth also finished as the top two last season before going on to meet in the Grand Final.

 

FOWLER'S ROAR, WESTERN UNITED IN FINALS AS VICTORY LEAVE RUN LATE

Under Robbie Fowler, Brisbane Roar managed just three points from their final four games, but even that was enough to finish fifth.

Meanwhile, in their maiden A-League season, Western United clinched the last finals spot, finishing four points clear in sixth.

Struggling in 10th when the campaign was stopped, Melbourne Victory charged but fell short.

They grabbed 12 points from their last five games but it was only enough to finish seventh, missing the finals for the first time since 2011-12.

 

A-League table at end of regular season
1. Sydney FC – 66
2. Perth Glory – 49
3. Melbourne City – 43
4. Wellington Phoenix – 42
5. Brisbane Roar – 38
6. Western United – 36

7. Melbourne Victory – 32
8. Western Sydney Wanderers – 32
9. Newcastle Jets – 30
10. Adelaide United – 27
11. Central Coast Mariners – 13

Melbourne City failed to seal a Finals berth ahead of the potential suspension of the A-League season as they lost 2-1 at Newcastle Jets on Monday.

Football Federation Australia has called a news conference for Tuesday as a pause in the 2019-20 campaign seems inevitable amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The postponement of Perth Glory's meeting with Western United made this McDonald Jones Stadium clash the last before the anticipated announcement, and second-placed City could not claim the victory required to clinch a post-season place.

Early openings were few and far between, but the Jets built up a head of steam heading into half-time, and Nick Fitzgerald - wasteful with a tame prior effort - broke the deadlock in style.

The former City winger controlled on the right corner of the penalty area, cut inside two backtracking defenders and placed a finish inside the left-hand upright.

The visitors controlled the second half, though, and substitute Florin Berenguer guided a header into the net - a belated first effort on target - for the leveller 19 minutes from time.

Yet back came Newcastle through Steven Ugarkovic, whose 25-yard strike beat Tom Glover's weak left hand to find the top-left corner and restore a decisive lead.

Despite events having to take place behind closed doors and restrictions on travel outside the country, Australia's major sporting leagues continue to plough on manfully amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Football, rugby league and Australian rules football are all vying for centre stage this weekend.

A look further afield means we've also got all you cricket and boxing fans covered.

Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC – A-League

Normally one of the feistiest fixtures on the A-League calendar, the empty stands of Bankwest Stadium will feel particularly incongruous for the latest instalment of this local argument.

Sydney are sitting pretty at the top of the standings – seven points clear of Melbourne City and with three games in hand – but their only two A-League defeats this season have come courtesy of a pair of 1-0 defeats to the Wanderers, with Mitchell Duke the matchwinner on both occasions.

Roosters v Sea Eagles, Sharks v Storm – NRL

It's week two in the NRL and correcting false starts will largely be the order of the day on Saturday.

Sydney Roosters were beaten 20-14 by Penrith Panthers and will hope to make amends at home to Manly Sea Eagles, themselves dispatched 18-4 by Melbourne Storm.

It means the Storm travel with a spring in their steps to face Cronulla Sharks, who fell short in a 22-18 thriller against South Sydney Rabbitohs last time out.

New Zealand Warriors, who have remained in Australia due to travel restrictions back home, are also in action against Canberra Raiders.

Melbourne City v Sydney FC – W-League

Melbourne City were the dominant force in the W-League this term, topping the table undefeated, and head into Saturday's Grand Final as strong favourites to win their fourth title in the past five seasons.

City earned the right to host the match by demolishing Western Sydney Wanderers 5-1 in their semi-final, while there was a certain symmetry to Sydney FC progressing via a 1-0 win against Melbourne Victory.

Greater Western Sydney v Geelong - AFL

The first round of action in the AFL sees last season's beaten Grand Finalists Greater Western Sydney host Geelong – the 2019 minor premiers.

Elsewhere Essendon entertain Freemantle, Sydney Swans travel to Adelaide Crows and Gold Coast Suns take on Port Adelaide.

Tibo Monabesa v Toto Landero – WBC International light-flyweight title

The coronavirus outbreak has led to the vast majority of elite boxing action in the United Kingdom and the United States being cancelled, but there is an international contest of some intrigue in Indonesia.

Monabesa (20 wins, one defeat, two draws) is seeking to get back in world title contention having won successive bouts on the back of his sole career loss to Japan's undefeated WBC light-flyweight king Hiroto Kyoguchi.

Jakarta's home favourite will have game Filipino Landero (11-4-2) for company in the squared circle.

Rangers v Mountaineers, Matabeleland Tuskers v Mid West Rhinos – Logan Cup

Mountaineers can draw level with Mashonaland Eagles at the top of Zimbabwe's first-class cricket competition if they can see off a Rangers side languishing in last place and winless in six matches this season.

It's also day one of four when Mid West Rhinos travel to face Matabeleland Tuskers. Rhinos all-rounder Neville Madziva is the top run-scorer in the Logan Cup this season – his total of 361 including a maiden red-ball century.  

Jamie Maclaren was the hat-trick hero as Melbourne City piled further misery on the Central Coast Mariners in the A-League with a 4-2 triumph.

The Mariners went down to a 10th consecutive defeat despite Jordan Murray catching the City backline napping to give them a second-minute lead.

The hosts' joy was short-lived as Maclaren arrowed a swift response across Central Coast goalkeeper Mark Birighitti and Markel Susaeta headed City in front inside 10 minutes.

Maclaren crowned a wonderful team move three minutes into the second half before claiming the matchball when Nathaniel Atkinson's blocked shot spun in his direction – a goal that restored City's two-goal advantage after a towering header earned Murray his second of the match.

City, who were playing without Erick Mombaerts - their 64-year-old head coach who stayed home as a precaution against contracting coronavirus, are seven points behind Sydney FC in second but have played three games more than the leaders.

Brisbane Roar are five points further back in fourth after Scott McDonald's splendid 16th-minute finish proved enough to see off Newcastle Jets 1-0.

It meant a first defeat as Jets boss for Carl Robinson – a fate that was almost averted in stoppage time when Roy O'Donovan volleyed Dimitrios Petratos' searching cross from the left against the post.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to leave little in the way of live action on the sporting calendar.

Most events have been put on hold or cancelled across the world due to the spread of COVID-19.

There are still some competitions going ahead on Friday, though, and here are five of the best to look forward to.


Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City - A-League

Australia's top football division continues, albeit with a reduced schedule and games being staged behind closed doors - including both of Friday's matches.

The Mariners will be out to avoid unwanted club history as they host Melbourne City. Alen Stajcic's team are on a nine-match losing run, just one short of their previous worst streak of 10 in a row.

 

Dundalk - horse racing

Horse racing has been suspended in the United Kingdom until the end of April, but Horse Racing Ireland has opted to carry on racing after implementing stringent controls.

Friday's sole meeting will take place at Dundalk, where Cautious Approach, Juliet Rose and Sebs Star are all in action.

Cage Warriors 113 - MMA

Friday's blockbuster will now be held in Manchester after moving from London and is another event being held without spectators in attendance.

Darren Stewart and Bartosz Fabinski meet in the headline fight, while Mason Jones and Joe McColgan will battle it out for the vacant lightweight title.

Brisbane Broncos v South Sydney Rabbitohs - NRL

The NRL has introduced a self-isolation programme for its players in a desperate attempt to keep games on.

And that means plenty of focus will be on the grudge match between the Broncos and the Rabbitohs, who will both be looking to maintain winning starts to the season.

 

Western Bulldogs v Collingwood - AFL

Aussie Rules football got under way at an empty MCG on Thursday and the action continues with Western Bulldogs taking on Collingwood Magpies.

The Magpies begin their assault for a record-equalling 16th title - and a first in a decade - against their Melbourne rivals at Docklands Stadium.

A-League leaders Sydney were held to a 0-0 draw by Perth Glory on Saturday amid uncertainty over whether the season will continue.

This weekend's matches are going ahead as planned despite concerns around the coronavirus pandemic, with confirmed cases in Australia having increased to 226.

It is intended the league will continue into next week despite the need to hold matches behind closed doors in line with authorities banning all gatherings of more than 500 people, which comes into effect on Monday.

However, there are doubts about the viability of maintaining the schedule given the stringent new rules imposed in New Zealand, where visitors have been told to self-isolate for 14 days, and the effect these could have on Wellington Phoenix matches.

There was nothing to separate Sydney and Perth in the opening game of the day as the visitors ended a six-game losing streak at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Luke Brattan saw a goal disallowed for offside but there were only five shots on target throughout the contest as the league's best two defences proved unbreachable.

Second-placed Melbourne City were unable to close the 10-point gap to leaders Sydney, though, as they drew 1-1 with Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park.

Tate Russell broke the deadlock 21 minutes in with a composed finish at the end of a slick move involving Mitchell Duke and Nicolai Muller, but he felled Craig Noone to allow Jamie Maclaren to end a three-match barren run by equalising from the penalty spot.

A remarkable goalline clearance from Curtis Good denied Simon Cox what looked a certain winning goal, but the Wanderers remain in the hunt for the finals as they moved to within two points of the top six.

Melbourne City held off a second-half fightback from Perth Glory as Wellington Phoenix heaped further misery on Central Coast Mariners in Sunday's A-League action.

Rostyn Griffiths, Florin Berenguer and Markel Susaeta all scored in a scintillating 10-minute spell in the first half for Melbourne, putting them 3-0 up at HBF Park.

However, Perth – who lost in the Grand Final to Sydney FC last season – rallied after the break.

Joel Chianese tucked home a rebound to make it 3-1 and the deficit was down to one after 65 minutes when he squared the ball across for Bruno Fornaroli to tap home.

Diego Castro hit the post as the hosts pushed hard for an equaliser, yet Melbourne survived to win 3-2 and remain the closest challengers to Sydney, though they are 10 points behind the runaway leaders.

Wellington Phoenix had briefly moved above Melbourne City into second place in the table courtesy of a 3-1 triumph at bottom club Central Coast Mariners.

Liberato Cacace marked his 50th game in the competition with the opening goal and Gary Hooper clinically converted a one-on-one opportunity to double Wellington's lead.

Jaushua Sotirio added a third when his run in behind was picked out by fellow substitute Alex Rufer's pass over the top.

The Mariners had 16 attempts at goal but only managed to hit the target three times. They did grab a late consolation, Jair scoring in the 89th minute, but have now lost eight on the spin.

Western United thrashed Central Coast Mariners 6-2 on Sunday to give their A-League top-six ambitions a boost.

Max Burgess scored a 19-minute hat-trick during a spectacular first half at GMHBA Stadium in which six goals were scored.

Besart Berisha's header broke the deadlock after nine minutes, but Chris Harold's penalty levelled matters after Tomislav Uskok had handled in the box.

Burgess struck his first goal to restore United's lead and got his second five minutes later after being set up by Connor Pain.

After Berisha saw an effort blocked, Burgess - who had never scored in 44 previous A-League appearances - completed his hat-trick, but Gianni Stensness made it 4-2 shortly before the break.

Andrew Durante turned in Alessandro Diamanti's cross for 5-2, before Berisha converted from close range in the 89th minute for his 20th goal against Central Coast - an A-League record for a player against a single club.

In the later game at AAMI Park, Melbourne City moved back into second place with a battling 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar.

The visitors were undone when Joshua Brillante's fine strike hit the post and went in off goalkeeper Jamie Young 10 minutes into the second half.

Melbourne are three points above third-place Perth Glory, having played a game more, while Brisbane sit sixth, just two points ahead of United.

David Ball swept home a second-half winner as Wellington Phoenix dented Melbourne City's hopes of catching A-League leaders Sydney FC.

Ball completed a fine counter-attack by converting fellow Englishman Gary Hooper's pinpoint cross from the right 13 minutes into the second half for the only goal of the game at Eden Park.

City poured on the pressure in a bid to find an equaliser but found home goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic in fine form.

The win enhanced the Phoenix's top-six hopes, moving them to within three points of second-placed Melbourne, who remain 10 adrift of leaders Sydney FC.

Carl Robinson's first game in charge of Newcastle Jets saw them claim a point in a 1-1 draw at Western Sydney Wanderers.

Former Vancouver Whitecaps boss Robinson was in the stands to watch the Jets' 4-3 defeat of the Central Coast Mariners last weekend and he would have been delighted his players built on that display with a battling performance at Bankwest Stadium.

They endured a miserable start as Wanderers' skipper Mitchell Duke fired home a fifth-minute penalty after Bobby Burns senselessly tripped winger Bruce Kamau having tracked him into the box.

When Duke struck a post shortly after, and with the home side dominating, it looked like being a long evening for the Jets, but they eventually established a foothold and Matt Millar grabbed a deserved equaliser with 16 minutes to go.

The point lifts the Jets off the foot of the table, ahead of Central Coast, while Jean-Paul De Marigny's Wanderers remain in eighth.

Melbourne City clinched a narrow 2-1 derby win over Melbourne Victory on Friday to consolidate their place in second in the A-League, but Perth Glory remain hot on their heels after winning a thriller with Wellington Phoenix.

At AAMI Park, Florin Berenguer put City in charge with just eight minutes played, turning in from the edge of the box after Adrian Luna produced a remarkable flick to beat his man on the right flank and squared to the Frenchman.

They doubled their advantage 19 minutes from time in style, Jamie Maclaren netting after Craig Noone slipped Berenguer into the box and his back-heel set up the finishing touch.

Ola Toivonen gave Victory some hope when his free-kick was inexplicably allowed in by goalkeeper Tom Glover, who fumbled the effort over the line, but it mattered little in the end.

Glory remain just a point behind City with a game in hand after a gripping 4-2 win over Wellington, with all six goals coming after the 43rd minute.

Tomislav Mrcela opened the scoring with a close-range header, before Nicholas D'Agostino made it 2-0 just before the interval, finishing off a well-worked move in the penalty area.

D'Agostino netted again when nodding in Kim Soo-beom's left-wing cross, but the introduction of Gary Hooper appeared to restore some hope for Phoenix, as the former Celtic striker struck twice in eight minutes wither side of Tim Payne's dismissal for two yellow cards.

But Bruno Fornaroli prevented any late turnaround, curling home from just outside the area late on to wrap up victory in the Distance Derby.

Ben Halloran scored twice as Adelaide United swept aside second-place Melbourne City 3-1 in the A-League on Saturday.

Halloran opened the scoring in the 12th minute, lashing home from 10 yards after Craig Noone had made a mess of an attempted clearance.

Noone made amends four minutes later, however, powering a left-foot effort from 12 yards past Paul Izzo to draw the visitors level.

Halloran restored the hosts' advantage four minutes before the interval, heading home at the back post from a corner, while George Blackwood made it three in first-half stoppage time with a thunderous header from six yards.

City's misery was compounded 14 minutes from time when Harrison Delbridge received a third red card of the campaign for an ugly challenge on Nikola Mileusnic.

The result moves Adelaide up to fifth, while City remain 13 points behind leaders Sydney FC, who have a game in hand.

Perth Glory are a point behind City after a last-gasp 2-2 draw with Melbourne Victory at HBF Park.

The visitors forged ahead in the 22nd minute when Ola Toivonen whipped into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.

Bruno Fornaroli pulled the hosts level in first-half injury time with a low free-kick from 20 yards, but Andrew Nabbout restored Victory's lead shortly before the hour mark courtesy of a cool finish from a quick break.

Nicholas D'Agostino ensured a share of the spoils, though, hammering home a header from six yards in the 90th minute.

The result leaves Victory in in eighth place on 16 points, six ahead of rock-bottom Newcastle Jets, who drew 0-0 with Western United in the day's other game.

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