Marco Rojas was on target twice as a young-looking Melbourne Victory routed Perth Glory 4-0 in Saturday's A-League contest.

Interim coach Grant Brebner named four teenagers in his starting XI for the clash at Sydney's Netstrata Jubilee Stadium as Victory ended an unwanted club record four straight defeats.

They had to be patient as Perth controlled most of the early possession but Rojas leathered in a 25-yard effort into the top-right corner to get them up and running.

Tarek Elrich dragged down Andrew Nabbout on the hour, with the winger converting the penalty he won, before Rojas' composed finish – his fourth goal in two games – meant it was game over.

Elvis Kamsoba scored his first A-League goal in injury time to complete proceedings, as Victory – who are guaranteed to finish 10th with just one game to play – returned to winning ways.

Glory's third loss in five since the season resumed means their spot in the top six is still not officially locked in, although their Finals place will be confirmed if Adelaide United do not beat Melbourne City on Tuesday. 

Perth Glory got back on track with a 3-1 victory that all but ends Western Sydney Wanderers' hopes of qualifying for the A-League Finals. 

Having won their first game when the league resumed last month, the Glory then suffered back-to-back losses to dent their hopes of a top-six finish. 

However, they went ahead at Bankwest Stadium on Tuesday as Jake Brimmer's deflected effort fell into the path of Ivan Franjic, who marked his 50th Perth appearance with a 60th-minute opener. 

Wanderers hit back through Mitchell Duke three minutes later, but Dylan McGowan then handled in the area, allowing Neil Kilkenny to restore Perth’s lead from the spot. 

And substitute James Meredith lashed in a brilliant third from the edge of the box to tighten the Glory’s grip on fifth place. 

The Wanderers remain down in ninth, four points outside the top six with two to play.

Adelaide United kept up their top-six push with an enthralling 5-3 defeat of Perth Glory in Thursday's A-League clash.

Kristian Opseth scored one and set up two more as Carl Veart's side made it three games without defeat to move level on points with fifth-place Perth.

Riley McGree missed a 15th-minute penalty but the home side scored twice in two minutes through Michael Jakobsen and Lachlan Brook before the half-hour mark.

Kristian Popovic pulled a goal back but Opseth headed in Adelaide's third and teed up Ben Halloran to fire home the fourth before half-time.

Pacifique Niyongabire scored a fine first A-League goal, twisting and turning in the box before rifling in a shot, his stylish somersault celebration a fitting tribute to a thrilling game.

Bruno Fornaroli's fine turn and finish made it 5-2 and Juande scored from the spot in the 83rd minute, but Glory will be feeling the heat in the top-six chase after back-to-back losses.

Gary Hooper continued his good form in front of goal and Ulises Davila added a second-half penalty as Wellington Phoenix returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Perth Glory at Bankwest Stadium.

The Phoenix marked their return to action following the coronavirus-enforced hiatus with a 3-1 loss to Sydney FC, but Hooper put them on course for a fifth win in six games when taking Callum McCowatt's pass in his stride and slotting home after 32 minutes.

Hooper's fifth goal in his past seven matches was added to by Davila, who converted from the penalty spot three minutes into the second half following Jacob Tratt's sloppy challenge on David Ball.

Perth could have overtaken their opponents with a win and they pulled one back through Dane Ingham's curled finish from range with half an hour to go, but Ufuk Talay's side withstood some late pressure to move to within a point of second with a game in hand.

Dane Ingham struck the only goal of the game as Perth Glory returned to winning ways in a 1-0 triumph over Central Coast Mariners.

Glory had failed to win in their previous four A-League matches prior to the competition's enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In their first match back, and without the influential Diego Castro, Ingham brilliantly cut in from the left and lashed in a right-footed shot into the far corner after receiving Neil Kilkenny's pass in the 32nd minute.

The Mariners probed valiantly for an equaliser in the final 20 minutes but have now lost 11 straight games and remain bottom of the table, while Glory are fifth.

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.

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

The Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has demanded Central Coast Mariners immediately reinstate players after they were issued with stand-down notices amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the PFA threatened to initiate legal proceedings against Perth Glory owner Tony Sage following his decision to stand down players, with the A-League season on hiatus due to COVID-19.

The Mariners also issued stand-down notices as the league's postponement impacts clubs financially, prompting the PFA to serve Central Coast owner Mike Charlesworth with a letter of demand.

"These actions undermine attempts for our game to overcome common challenges, fight for common interests and re-establish our sport," PFA chief executive John Didulica said in a statement on Tuesday.

"While other codes have fostered unity and demonstrated leadership amid crisis, we are at risk of regressing to the lowest common denominator.

"FFA has indicated an intention to intervene as this matter escalates. 

"This morning, we have written to FFA to ask they follow the lead of other sporting codes in this country and lead a collective and uniform solution to our common challenge."

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has already stood down approximately 70 per cent of its staff in a bid to save money amid the coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus has claimed more than 37,500 lives globally, with over 781,800 confirmed cases.

In Australia, there have been at least 18 deaths and more than 4,350 cases.

 

The Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has demanded Perth Glory reinstate players said to have been issued with stand-down notices amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Saturday, the PFA threatened to initiate legal proceedings against Glory owner Tony Sage.

The PFA said it had "been provided with stand-down notices issued to its members at Perth Glory" by Sage.

"The players acknowledge that everybody in Australia is facing a collective challenge as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic," PFA chief executive John Didulica said.

"In times like this, our community needs leadership and, from the perspective of football, a commitment to collaboratively rebuilding our sport.

"The PFA continues to call for a collective solution to address our game's challenges, as has been the approach adopted by the AFL and sporting bodies around the world. However, Tony has shown his preference for unilateral, reckless and unlawful action.

"A fortnight ago, it was fine to relocate players to the east coast away from their families and expose them to a global pandemic. Now, when the opportunity arises, it is considered acceptable to stop paying them. These are not the traits of a sport that values its people.

"We are positioned to take the same course of action if any other A-League club owner elects to take this course of action in contravention of both the law and the sports broader needs at this time."

Perth Glory decided against commenting when contacted by Stats Perform.

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.

Andrew Nabbout's spectacular 91st-minute strike secured a much-needed 2-1 A-League win for Melbourne Victory at home to Adelaide United on Saturday.

Victory peppered the Adelaide goal but looked set to fall short in their bid for a first league win since January 5 as they trailed to Kristian Opseth's fine early finish.

George Blackwood hit the crossbar as the visitors threatened a second approaching the hour-mark, only for Marco Rojas to quickly equalise at the other end, getting ahead of his marker and prodding past Paul Izzo.

The match was still level at the end of normal time, but Nabbout cut inside from the left flank and arrowed a stunning drive high past Izzo from the corner of the area to steal all three points.

Victory moved back ahead of Newcastle Jets, who had temporarily leapfrogged the Melbourne side earlier in the day courtesy of head coach Carl Robinson's first win.

The Jets' 2-1 triumph over Perth Glory also featured a magnificent goal, with Nikolai Topor-Stanley finding the top-right corner from 25 yards to open the scoring after 12 minutes.

Neil Kilkenny equalised from the penalty spot after Newcastle captain Nigel Boogaard's handball, yet Roy O'Donovan hit a 74th-minute winner.

Perth remain second in the table but are now winless in three in all competitions.

New Newcastle Jets head coach Carl Robinson was denied a first home win despite a dominant first half against Melbourne Victory on Saturday.

Former Vancouver Whitecaps boss Robinson was appointed prior to a home success against Central Coast Mariners earlier this month but watched that match from the stands.

The Jets subsequently drew 1-1 at Western Sydney Wanderers and were then held by the same scoreline by the Victory.

Newcastle twice had early Abdiel Arroyo goals ruled out, the first after referee Alireza Faghani inadvertently deflected a cross into the striker's path.

But Melbourne's luck ran out when Roy O'Donovan blasted Dimitrios Petratos' cutback against the crossbar and, after a short delay, the VAR ruled the ball had bounced over the line.

However, half-time killed the Jets' momentum, and visiting captain Ola Toivonen headed an equaliser four minutes after the restart to claim a share of the spoils.

It was also 1-1 between Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory in Saturday's earlier game.

Perth climbed to second with a point but were denied all three by former Newcastle United defender Macaulay Gillesphey, who cancelled out Bruno Fornaroli's first-half opener five minutes from time.

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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