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.

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.

Brisbane Roar strengthened their grip on sixth spot in the A-League thanks to a 1-0 win over Western United on Sunday.

Mirza Muratovic's 61st-minute goal proved to be enough for Robbie Fowler's men at Mars Stadium in Ballarat.

The result moved Brisbane four points clear of Western United in the last finals spot in the A-League table.

Brisbane had to wait until just after the hour-mark to find a breakthrough.

Brad Inman dispossessed debutant Tomoki Imai before squaring a pass for 20-year-old forward Muratovic to tuck away.

After a slow start to the season, Fowler's Brisbane have collected 17 points from their past eight games.

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.

Substitute Nathan Konstandopoulos struck late to give Adelaide United a thrilling 4-3 victory over Western United in Besart Berisha's 200th A-League appearance on Sunday.

Berisha, the competition's all-time leading scorer, marked the occasion with a first-half brace but Mark Rudan's men ran out of legs after a stirring comeback.

Three goals were scored inside a blistering first 15 minutes at Whitten Oval, hosting an A-League fixture for the first time, as Nikola Mileusnic netted either side of a clinical Berisha finish.

Riley McGree extended Adelaide's advantage with his eighth goal of the season in the 18th minute, only for 34-year-old striker Berisha to halve the deficit when he turned home Connor Pain's cross just before the interval.

The home fans were on their feet again in the 54th minute, Alessandro Diamanti curling beyond Paul Izzo to equalise.

But there was another twist to come in a rollercoaster encounter as midfielder Konstandopoulos stepped off the bench and guided a classy effort in off the upright in the 79th minute, his winner moving the Reds a point ahead of sixth-placed Western United.

Perth Glory piled further pressure on Markus Babbel with a 1-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday.

Bruno Fornaroli's deflected finish in the sixth minute condemned the Wanderers, who have won just once since October, to a third successive A-League loss.

Kwame Yeboah looked to have eased under-fire boss Babbel's concerns when he wheeled away in celebration of a second-half equaliser, but the goal was disallowed after a VAR review found the attacker had used his arm to divert home Daniel Georgievski's wayward shot.

Perth were otherwise largely untroubled en route to a club-record sixth consecutive victory, the result lifting them within two points of second-placed Melbourne City and leaving Western Sydney languishing in ninth.

Western United earlier ended a three-match winless streak as Besart Berisha's brace set up a routine 3-0 win over Central Coast Mariners at GMHBA Stadium.

Star striker Berisha gave the fast-starting hosts a sixth-minute lead when he brilliantly headed in Alessandro Diamanti's cross.

Central Coast defender Kye Rowles conceded an own goal for the second match in succession before Berisha scored again in the 21st minute, the 34-year-old converting at close range after Max Burgess weaved his way to the byline.

The Mariners minimised the damage after the interval but failed to repeat last weekend's come-from-behind upset of Melbourne Victory, slumping instead to a third defeat in four games.

Ten-man Melbourne City held on to defeat Western United 3-2 in the A-League at AAMI Park on Friday, surviving a tense finish after conceding two penalties in quick succession.

It was one-way traffic in City's favour in the first half, with the opener coming after just five minutes as Jamie Maclaren stabbed in on the line after Jonathan Aspropotamitis had deflected Florin Berenguer's shot onto the post amid appeals for handball.

A lovely Craig Noone delivery then found Adrian Luna, who volleyed in nine minutes before half-time, and it was three before the break as Filip Kurto charged from his goal and comically missed the ball, gifting Maclaren his second.

But a similarly rash decision from the goalkeeper at the other end kept United in the hunt, Dean Bouzanis bringing down Joshua Cavallo and unable to stop Besart Berisha from the spot after 75 minutes.

And the visitors had another penalty just a minute after the restart as Harrison Delbridge blocked Dylan Pierias' pass with his arm.

The referee consulted the pitch-side monitors following a VAR review and sent Delbridge off, before Alessandro Diamanti scored from 12 yards, but City preserved the points.

The home side had confirmed the match would go ahead just over an hour before kick-off, having monitored the air quality at the stadium, with bushfires raging across Australia, including in Victoria.

The players wore black armbands and observed a minute's applause, while the clubs donated money to the disaster appeal.

Wellington Phoenix moved into the A-League's top six following a 3-1 win over Western United that extended their unbeaten run to seven matches.

After four defeats to start the campaign, Wellington have had an upturn in form and Ufuk Talay's side led 1-0 at half-time through David Ball's poked finish from a Ulises Davila cross.

New Zealand international Callum McCowatt then scored his first A-League goal after the break before Davila beat the offside trap and coolly finished 10 minutes from time.

The home side would grab a consolation, though, Steven Taylor bizarrely blocking a shot with his outstretched arm when lying on the ground to concede a penalty that Alessandro Diamanti converted.

However, that was all United had to show for their efforts as they missed the opportunity to go second ahead of Melbourne City.

The clash between the A-League's two bottom clubs - Newcastle Jets and Brisbane Roar - ended in a 1-1 draw thanks to substitute Bradden Inman's 87th-minute equaliser.

Newcastle had conceded 20 goals in their previous nine games but were indebted to Glen Moss' fine save to push Aiden O'Neill's effort around the post early on.

The Jets went ahead before the break too, Dimitrios Petratos following up to score after Jamie Young had parried Jason Hoffman's effort straight to him.

But Roar boss Robbie Fowler brought on Inman and was rewarded three minutes from time when he collected O'Neill's pass on the edge of the box, swivelled and fired a shot in off the crossbar.

Brisbane remain winless away from home this season, yet Inman's late leveller meant they avoided slipping below the bottom-of-the-table Jets.

Markus Babbel's Western Sydney Wanderers picked up their first A-League point in six games, but Aaron Calver's 87th-minute equaliser for Western United meant their winless run went on.

The Wanderers came into this match on the back of five successive defeats, with Babbel issuing a strong denial to reports of turmoil behind the scenes.

Patrick Ziegler then headed home 11 minutes from time and it looked as though Babbel would be toasting his first victory since October 26.

Yet an unmarked Calver nodded in a leveller with three minutes remaining to leave Wanderers down in seventh.

Goalkeeper Daniel Lopar denied Panagiotis Kone with his right foot inside two minutes, but it was the home side who dominated thereafter, though Kwame Yeboah was wasteful when presented with a great chance before the interval.

The Wanderers missed a slew of second-half chances before Ziegler arrived at the back post to head into an empty net after Keanu Baccus had flicked on Nicolai Muller's corner.

Yet Babbel's side failed to account for Calver late on and the full-back guided Connor Pain's back-post cross into the net to make it 1-1.

Besart Berisha piled the pain on former club Brisbane Roar as Western United earned a clinical 2-0 win at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.

The A-League's all-time leading goalscorer scored twice in last weekend's 3-1 triumph over Melbourne Victory and came back to haunt another of his old teams in Queensland.

Left unmarked, Berisha skilfully turned Aaron Calver's cross past Jamie Young to double United's advantage on the stroke of half-time.

The visitors had gone ahead in the 11th minute when the excellent Alessandro Diamanti picked out Connor Pain's run to the back post.

Brisbane dominated possession but created next to nothing going forward, with Filip Kurto only forced to make one real save from Roy O'Donovan.

Robbie Fowler's side, hammered 5-1 at Sydney FC last time out, could slide to the bottom of the table if Central Coast Mariners gain a result against Sydney FC on Saturday, while Mark Rudan's men momentarily move up to third.

Besart Berisha came back to haunt his former employers Melbourne Victory as he scored a brace in Western United's 3-1 derby success.

The 34-year-old striker - the only man to have scored over 100 times in the A-League - spent four goal-laden seasons with Victory before leaving in 2018.

Berisha's former club took the lead 14 minutes in on Sunday, Andrew Nabbout running into the box down the right and arrowing a finish into the far corner following a counter.

Yet Victory were served a reminder of their former striker's quality three minutes later as Berisha met a near-post Connor Pain cross with a flicked header for United's first goal in 319 minutes.

Panagiotis Kone turned home Alessandro Diamanti's free-kick in the 24th minute to put United ahead and though James Donachie came close to equalising when he hit the bar, Berisha headed in his second, and 120th A-League goal, before half-time to seal a 3-1 victory.

Adelaide United got back on track as James Troisi scored an 83rd-minute winner in a 2-1 home victory over Newcastle Jets.

The hosts had won four A-League games in a row before losing 2-1 to Wellington Phoenix last time out, though they were ahead at the break when George Blackwood applied the finish following excellent work from teenager Al Hassan Toure.

Matthew Millar headed Newcastle level just after the resumption but Troisi beat two defenders before rolling home past Glen Moss to earn three points for third-placed Adelaide.

Wellington Phoenix profited from a contentious penalty as they came from behind to earn a 2-1 victory at Adelaide United on Sunday.

Liberato Cacace went down under the barest of touches from George Blackwood and referee Adam Fielding pointed to the spot, enabling Ulises Davila to convert the 71st-minute winner.

A VAR review cleared the decision as Wellington took a decisive lead four minutes after David Ball got their equaliser, the English striker having squeezed a shot through Paul Izzo.

Though underwhelming for much of the match, Adelaide had looked set to snatch all three points thanks to Nikola Mileusnic's superb sliced volley after half-time.

But the Reds were trailing within 15 minutes and failed to deny Ufuk Talay's team a second successive win, which lifts Wellington off the foot of the A-League table.

Third-placed Adelaide are six points adrift of new leaders Sydney FC, who claimed a clinical 2-0 triumph on the road against Western United.

Adam Le Fondre netted both goals from Alexander Baumjohann assists to lead Steve Corica's men two points clear of Melbourne City.

The diminutive striker headed in a 27th-minute corner and completed the scoring following a fast break in first-half stoppage time.

United attempted 22 shots in total but have now failed to score amid a three-game losing streak.

Central Coast Mariners kept their first A-League clean sheet since February 2018 as Giancarlo Gallifuoco's fortuitous strike secured a 1-0 win over Western United to move them off the foot of the table.

United would have risen into third place with a victory in Gosford on Sunday, but the struggling Mariners held firm to claim their second win of the season.

Former Italy international Alessandro Diamanti went close for United with a free-kick late in the first half, but it was Central Coast who made the breakthrough four minutes after the interval when Gallifuoco's volley took a wicked deflection off Aaron Calver.

Filip Kurto did his best to react, yet could only push it in off the inside of his right-hand upright.

Alen Stajcic's side endured a nervy wait while there was a VAR check for a potential handball in the box from Ziggy Gordon late on, but the Mariners' luck was in.

And after Josh Risdon headed wide in stoppage time, the Mariners were able to celebrate taking points and earning their first clean sheet in the league in 21 months.

Newcastle Jets got their A-League season back on track with a gritty 1-0 victory over Western United at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.

Dimitri Petratos sliced open the home side's defence and Angus Thurgate applied the finish in the 36th minute to end Newcastle's winless start to the season.

The result was not secured without a particularly nervy final 20 minutes, during which Josh Risdon looked to have headed United level.

However, a VAR review found Besart Berisha to be offside in the build-up and the Jets hung on with help from goalkeeper Glen Moss to inflict a second defeat on the competition's newcomers.

Adelaide United earlier outclassed Central Coast Mariners in a come-from-behind 3-1 win in Gosford.

Milan Duric put the Mariners ahead from the penalty spot, but it was a one-sided affair following his sixth-minute opener.

Ben Halloran beat Mark Birighitti at the near post, Nikola Mileusnic volleyed the visitors ahead and Kristian Opseth converted a Halloran cross in the space of 19 first-half minutes.

Central Coast tightened up after the interval but were unable to avoid a third defeat in five games, while the Reds now have nine points.

Western United overcame a contentious VAR decision to claim a 2-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers and second spot in the A-League on Saturday.

Andrew Durante and Kwabena Appiah-Kubi scored either side of half-time at GMHBA Stadium to complete the home side's recovery from Mitchell Duke's cool fifth-minute opener.

Their task was made more difficult by a curious call that went against Scott McDonald in the early stages of the second half.

Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Lopar blocked McDonald's close-range header but not before it crossed the line, or so it seemed on television replays.

VAR reviewed the footage and eventually determined the ball had not completely entered the goal, despite seemingly convincing evidence to the contrary.

United's anger gave way to joy when Appiah-Kubi cushioned Ersan Gulum's wayward effort and clinically beat Lopar on the turn, his 58th-minute winner sending Mark Rudan's men above Western Sydney by virtue of goals scored.

There was late drama in the early game as Perth Glory salvaged a 1-1 draw away to winless Newcastle Jets.

Diego Castro forced in an 86th-minute equaliser amid a goalmouth scramble to cancel out Jason Hoffman's well-taken finish, which had given Newcastle a first-half lead.

Alex Grant was shown a second yellow card a minute after Castro's goal but 10-man Perth saw out the draw, their third in five games.

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