Sunday Recap: How the action unfolded, incl. two Semi-Finals

Re-live all the action as the Liberty A-League Semi-Finals got underway, while the Isuzu UTE A-League wooden spoon was decided.

SATURDAY RECAP: Highlights and key talking points from dramatic night in Campbelltown and top-six race

It all began with the Liberty A-League Semi-Finals – defending champions Sydney FC edged Central Coast Mariners in the opening leg in Gosford, while Newcastle Jets were no match for reigning premiers Melbourne City in the Hunter region.

Then Western United overcame Perth Glory 4-3 as the leader were consigned to the Isuzu UTE A-League wooden spoon.

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Liberty A-League

Central Coast Mariners 0-1 Sydney FC – Industree Group Stadium

MATCH REPORT: Liberty A-League Semi-Final lives up to the hype as defending champs draw first blood in thriller

Sydney FC have drawn first blood against Central Coast Mariners after prevailing 1-0 in a breath-taking opening leg of their Liberty A-League Semi-Final.

Sunday’s matchup had almost everything in an end-to-end contest that was settled by Mackenzie Hawkesby nine minutes into the second half.

Hawkesby was played in by 16-year-old sensation Indiana dos Santos and she made no mistake slotting the ball beyond Casey Dumont at Industree Group Stadium, where Sky Blues star Princess Ibini dislocated her shoulder in the first half.

Both teams finished with 17 shots – Central Coast had seven on target, while Sydney tallied six.

Defending champions Sydney, who snapped a two-game losing streak, will now take a narrow lead into the return leg at Leichhardt Oval on April 27.

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Newcastle Jets 0-3 Melbourne City – Maitland Sports Ground

MATCH REPORT: Another record smashed as City put one foot in the Liberty A-League Grand Final

Melbourne City have one foot in the Liberty A-League Grand Final after beating Newcastle Jets 3-0 in a hotly-contested Semi Final first leg in front of a record crowd in Maitland on Sunday afternoon.

Dario Vidosic’s Premiers picked up where they left off after enjoying the first week of the finals off, scoring inside five minutes through Daniela Galic before Emina Ekic doubled their advantage just after the hour mark and 15-year-old Shelby McMahon sealed the result.

It means City will head into the second leg at AAMI Park next Sunday with a huge three-goal cushion – made even more ominous when you consider the fact the Jets have NEVER registered a victory in this fixture across 16 attempts.

On a brighter note for the home side, a crowd of 6,836 smashed the Newcastle Jets’ record home women’s crowd by roughly 2,000, a special moment that reflects the strides made across the Liberty A-League this term.

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Isuzu UTE A-League

Perth Glory 3-4 Western United – HBF Park

MATCH REPORT: There’s a new Golden Boot leader after history-making display but two academy stars settle shoot-out

Adam Taggart is in the box seat to win his second Isuzu UTE A-League Golden Boot after his record-breaking performance but Perth Glory were beaten 4-3 by Western United in a result that condemned them to the wooden spoon.

Taggart scored twice on Sunday to surpass Shane Smeltz (17 in 2011-12) for the outright most goals by a Perth player in a single Isuzu UTE A-League season after taking his tally to 19 in 2023-24.

The Glory captain and Socceroos forward, who was the league’s top goalscorer in 2013-14, also leapfrogged Melbourne Victory talisman Bruno Fornaroli (18) atop the Golden Boot standings with one round remaining.

However, Taggart was unable to prevent Perth from succumbing to defeat and the wooden spoon at the hands of second-bottom Western.

Ryu Danzaki equalised in the 65th minute, Abel Walatee celebrated his maiden A-Leagues goal in just his second appearance before fellow substitute Oli Lavale enjoyed a memorable moment of his own in stoppage time.

David Williams did reduce the deficit deep into stoppage time – his 50th in the league but Western held on for maximum points.

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