Western United ended Western Sydney Wanderers' faint A-League Finals hopes by clinching a 5-3 victory after surrendering a three-goal lead at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

The Wanderers needed a win to keep their aspirations of finishing in the top six alive but got off to a poor start, Josh Risdon heading home Max Burgess' cross before teeing up Besart Berisha in the 19th minute.

A sublime chip from Alessandro Diamanti early in the second half looked to have put the result beyond doubt, but the Jean-Paul De Marigny's men remarkably clawed it back with three goals in 13 minutes.

Mitchell Duke's double, consisting of a header and a well-executed volley, book-ended a Wanderers' goal glut, with Tass Mourdoukoutas also on target.

However, their momentum was extinguished two minutes later when Mourdoukoutas was caught in possession by Burgess and the attacker sprinted clear before tucking a cool finish beyond Tristan Prendergast.

Another wonderful lob from Diamanti put the seal on the win for United, who are two points adrift of sixth-placed Adelaide United with two games in hand.

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.

Western Sydney Wanderers moved back to within four points of the A-League top six with a 1-0 victory over Wellington Phoenix on Friday.

A header from Kwame Yeboah with 17 minutes of normal time left secured all three points at Bankwest Stadium after Luke DeVere had earlier been sent off.

Phoenix, already assured of a Finals place, were hoping to consolidate second spot but only mustered one shot on target throughout the contest, although they were cursing their luck early on when David Ball's effort struck both posts but did not cross the line.

The first half was overshadowed by a serious injury suffered by Nicolai Muller, who is expected to have concussion after a clash of heads with Louis Fenton.

Momentum swung the Wanderers' way when DeVere was given a second yellow card for tripping Yeboah, and it was the man who came on for Muller who proved the matchwinner, heading home Tate Russell's cross.

Wanderers are four points behind sixth-place Adelaide United, with a game in hand, although Western United are level on 30 points after playing two games fewer.

A late Simon Cox goal secured a 1-1 draw for Western Sydney Wanderers at Central Coast Mariners that could prove to be important in the A-League top-six battle.

The Wanderers looked to be heading for defeat in their first match since the competition restarted after Milan Djuric struck just before the hour mark at Central Coast Stadium.

Duric had earlier seen a long-range effort hit the crossbar and Mohamed Adam slammed a shot off the woodwork in an even contest, but the Bosnia-Herzegovina international made no mistake from Matt Simon's cut-back.

The Mariners looked to be heading for a first win in 13 until Cox glanced in Mitchell Duke's cross with two minutes of normal time remaining.

The Wanderers are four points outside the top six, with a game in hand on sixth-place Adelaide United, while the Mariners are certain to finish bottom for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

Western Sydney Wanderers have appointed Jean-Paul de Marigny as head coach until the end of the 2020-21 A-League season.

De Marigny replaced Marks Babbel as caretaker coach in January and the former assistant has now been rewarded with the permanent role, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

The 56-year-old De Marigny oversaw three wins, three draws and a loss prior to the A-League's postponement in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Western Sydney are eighth and a point adrift of the spot in the finals as they prepare to resume their 2019-20 campaign against Melbourne Victory on July 22.

"This is a humbling experience to be named head coach here at the Wanderers and I would like to personally thank the Chairman Mr Paul Lederer, the board and CEO John Tsatsimas for this appointment and look forward to continuing the work I have started here," said De Marigny.

"I'm very excited about this opportunity and the challenge ahead for this season and next.

"The challenge ahead in the short term is getting to finals football, that’s the first challenge and we're all looking forward to that. For the following season it is all about planning, recruitment and signing players at this stage.

"Getting the right group together that can be successful, who have the right mindset and will bring performances that are show the fight and hard-work it takes to play for this great club.

"From day one since we returned from lockdown it has been about getting the players to the physical state they need to be at. We need to make sure that our mindset and performances are strong. Everyone is up for the challenge and is excited to get back out there and play."

 

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

Western Sydney Wanderers continued their excellent recent derby record as Kwame Yeboah's late goal gave them a deserved 1-1 draw against Sydney FC at Bankwest Stadium.

Sydney have dominated the A-League this season and are eight points clear of second-place Melbourne City with two games in hand.

However, their only two defeats of the campaign came courtesy of 1-0 reverses against the Wanderers, who played behind-closed-doors hosts on Saturday.

Adam Le Fondre applauded and bowed to the deserted stands when he put the Sky Blues in front after 35 minutes – reacting quickest when Daniel Lopar parried Kosta Barbarouses' effort to net a 17th goal this term.

But Western Sydney responded impressively, dominating the second half and earning the fortune that came their way eight minutes from time.

Yeboah did not appear to know much about Simon Cox's shot when the ball struck him and spun beyond a helpless Andrew Redmayne in the Sydney goal.

The Wanderers lie eighth and retain post-season ambitions as they sit a point behind sixth-place Western United, having played a game more.

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.  

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.

Scott McDonald scored his first A-League goals since November as Brisbane Roar beat Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 at home on Friday, ending the visitors' recent resurgence.

Wanderers went into Friday unbeaten in four and with three victories in that time, boosting their hopes of a top-six spot, but the Roar continued their unbeaten 2020 home form, making it three wins from five in front of their own fans.

McDonald, who joined the Roar in January from Western United, opened his account for the club after just three minutes, turning in from the centre of the box after Macaulay Gillesphey's free-kick delivery.

The striker made it 2-0 just before half-time, reaching Bradden Inman's deflected cross to tap in – VAR overturning an initial offside call.

Mitchell Duke pulled one back in the 54th minute, scoring for a fifth successive A-League game with a crisp finish into the bottom-left corner on the break, but Jay O'Shea wrapped up a comfortable Roar win from the spot after Matthew Jurman's clumsy foul on Inman.

Defeat means the Wanderers trail sixth-placed Adelaide United by three points, but they came increase the gap on Saturday when they face Western.

Sydney FC's 13-match unbeaten A-League run ended in dramatic circumstances on Friday, as Mitchell Duke netted a late winner to claim a 1-0 derby win for Western Sydney Wanderers.

Steve Corica's pacesetters had won each of their past six A-League games and were unbeaten since succumbing to the Wanderers in October at Bankwest Stadium, but they were made to rue their profligacy this time around as Duke proved decisive, just as he did four months ago.

Sydney dominated possession and had more shots in the first half, but the Wanderers went closest through Nicolai Muller in the 30th minute – his long-range strike beating Andrew Redmayne but coming back off the crossbar.

A-League top-scorer Adam Le Fondre should have levelled on the stroke of half-time, turning wide from 10 yards out with a controlled volley after a pinpoint delivery from the right.

Milos Ninkovic nodded another presentable opportunity off target for the hosts just after the break, and Sydney were made to pay for their wastefulness.

With nine minutes left, captain Duke met Tate Russell's cross and sent a looping header beyond Redmayne.

Daniel Georgievski's stoppage-time red card – upgraded from a yellow after a VAR review – for kicking Marco Tilio in the face during a scuffle on the floor, but it came too late to hand Sydney much of an advantage.

Western Sydney Wanderers closed to within four points of the top six with a thrilling 5-2 A-League drubbing of Adelaide United.

There were six goals in the first half at Bankwest Stadium in which the visitors went 2-1 up after trailing just five minutes in, only to surrender their advantage in a manner described by coach Gertjan Verbeek as "comedy capers".

Pirmin Schwegler's deflected free-kick five minutes in was cancelled out by a Riley McGree penalty, and Ben Halloran's composed finish made it 2-1 22 minutes in.

Two goals in two minutes turned the match on its head, though, Nicolai Muller making levelling before Mitchell Duke finished emphatically after being sent through by Simon Cox.

Duke headed in a second before the break to give the Wanderers a two-goal cushion, and Cox's clever after 73 minutes capped a fine outing for Jean-Paul De Marigny's side, who are now seventh.

In Friday's earlier game, Wellington Phoenix claimed a 2-0 win over Western United to climb into third in the table.

Mark Rudan's side kept Wellington at bay thanks to goalkeeper Filip Kurto until Liberato Cacace steered a volley beyond his reach 29 minutes in.

David Ball finally made the points safe with a fine strike in the 90th minute straight from a clearance from goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic, leaving United with plenty to consider having failed to score a goal in February and with only one win from eight matches.

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.

The Sydney derby between A-League leaders Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers has been postponed due to torrential rain.

A near sold-out crowd was expected to attend Saturday's blockbuster showdown at Jubilee Stadium, however, heavy rain forced Football Federation Australia (FFA) to postpone the fixture.

The match will be rescheduled for another date.

"With over 100mm of rain falling in the Sydney area over the past two days, and in the interest of player welfare, all parties agreed that it was not possible to play the match as scheduled today," said FFA Head of Leagues Greg O'Rourke

"Whilst it is disappointing that a nearly sold-out crowd is unable to see another iconic Sydney Derby today, this was the right decision to give fans as much notice as possible under the circumstances."

Sydney are 10 points clear atop the table after 15 matches, while Western Sydney are eighth in the 11-team league.

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