Melbourne retains A-League lead over Sydney, SOC

Sydney: The weekend clash between the two leading teams in Australia`s A-League ended scoreless, leaving Melbourne still with a three-point lead over Sydney. In 36-year-old skipper Kevin Muscat`s 500th league match in a 20-year career, the Victory failed to take advantage of numerous scoring chances in front its home fans in Melbourne.

Victory striker Archie Thompson hit the bar in the second minute and put four other good chances either wide or within reach of Sydney goalkeeper Clint Bolton. "The shots were 21 shots to six, but we weren`t accurate it wasn`t good-quality shooting," Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick said.

Sydney captain Steve Corica was pleased his side managed a draw giving them four points out of a possible six against the defending champions this season. Sydney beat the Victory 3-0 earlier this year.

"It`s a hard place to come and get points and we`re pretty pleased with that," Corica said.

"Both teams had their chances, and none were taken." Brisbane moved into the league`s top four after an injury-time winner from Matt McKay gave the Roar a 3-2 victory over Central Coast.

The match looked headed for a draw after the Mariners fought back from two goals down to level the match through substitute Dylan Macallister in the 76th minute. "About time," McKay said.

"This season I haven`t hit the target it was a good time to do it and it puts us in a good position now.

"On Friday, Adelaide United and Wellington drew 1-1. Brazilian fullback Alemao`s 30-meter strike in the 57th minute gave Adelaide the lead before Phoenix substitute Adrian Caceres forced an own goal in the 77th minute.”

Newcastle was scheduled to take on North Queensland and Gold Coast to face Perth on Sunday to conclude the 20th round.

Bureau Report