Sunday Recap: A wild Distance Derby, late drama & an upset while a Matilda makes herself a hero

The inaugural A-Leagues Unite Round concluded with four thrilling matches across the Liberty A-League and Isuzu UTE A-League on Sunday.

In the Liberty A-League, in-form Western Sydney Wanderers conquered table-topping Melbourne City 1-0 at CommBank Stadium while Cortnee Vine returned to lead defending champions Sydney FC past Western United Western United 1-0 in their Grand Final rematch at Allianz Stadium.

SATURDAY RECAP: Heyman makes history, Ibusuki hat-trick inspires Adelaide in seven-goal thriller

Over in the Isuzu UTE A-League, Kosta Barbourses equalled a record as Wellington Phoenix outlasted Perth Glory 4-3 in a wild Distance Derby at CommBank Stadium while Jay O’Shea converted a 90th-minute penalty in Brisbane Roar’s dramatic 3-2 victory against Newcastle Jets at Allianz Stadium.

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Western Sydney Wanderers 1-0 Melbourne City – CommBank Stadium (Liberty A-League)

MATCH REPORT: In-form Wanderers upstage Liberty A-League leaders Melb City thanks to Caspers’ season first

Holly Caspers’ second-half strike sealed a third straight win for Western Sydney Wanderers as they trumped Liberty A-League leaders Melbourne City 1-0 at CommBank Stadium.

Despite having the lion’s share of chances, including a missed second-half penalty by Rhianna Pollicina, it was the Wanderers who went home with all three points after a Lysianne Proulx error handed Caspers her first goal of the season on Sunday.

The result means Western Sydney are now up into fourth in the standings after equalling their longest ever winning streak in the competition, while City missed out on the chance to extend their lead atop the summit.

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Western United 0-1 Sydney FC – Allianz Stadium (Liberty A-League)

MATCH REPORT: Matildas star returns to settle Grand Final rematch

Cortnee Vine returned from injury to lead defending champions Sydney FC past Western United 1-0 in a rematch of last season’s Liberty A-League Grand Final.

Vine had spent the past two weeks sidelined by a calf injury but the Matildas star was fit enough to be among the substitutes before she came off the bench to settle Sunday’s Unite Round contest Allianz Stadium.

Introduced on the hour, Vine changed the game and scored within 10 minutes – getting on the end of a sublime Princess Ibini 70th-minute delivery – as she not only bagged her third goal of the season but guided the Sky Blues to just their second victory in six matches.

The result snapped Western’s three-game unbeaten streak as they dropped down to fifth in the standings, while Sydney catapulted themselves up to third.

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Perth Glory 3-4 Wellington Phoenix – CommBank Stadium (Isuzu UTE A-League)

MATCH REPORT: Brilliant Barbarouses equals Phoenix record in Distance Derby classic

Wellington Phoenix returned to the top of the Isuzu UTE A-League ladder after defeating Perth Glory 4-3 in a wet and wild classic at CommBank Stadium on Sunday.

Perth opened the scoring in the seventh minute thanks to a brilliant header from Adam Taggart but they were soon pegged back as Kosta Barbarouses continued his hot-streak in front of goal.

Barbarouses made it five straight games with a goal – joining Oskar Zawada and Tomer Hemed as the only Phoenix players to achieve the feat.

Alex Rufer then fired the Phoenix in front on the stroke of half-time before defender Aleksandar Susnjar scored one of the goals of the season to put Glory back on level terms.

But in a wild Unite Round contest, Wellington then re-took the lead through Tim Payne but his goal was soon cancelled out by another excellent solo effort, this time from Glory substitute Jarrod Carluccio.

However it would be the New Zealanders who would go home happier as Barbarouses struck the killer blow, stabbing home what would prove to be the winner in the 73rd minute to send Wellington back to the summit.

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Brisbane Roar 3-2 Newcastle Jets – Allianz Stadium (Isuzu UTE A-League)

MATCH REPORT: Son of a gun inspires late turnaround as two-goal star ends Roar’s four-game skid

Jay O’Shea converted a 90th-minute penalty after Jonas Markovski scored his first Isuzu UTE A-League to lift Brisbane Roar to a dramatic 3-2 victory over Newcastle Jets.

The Jets dominated the first half and looked on track for maximum points thanks to Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and Phillip Cancar, either side of O’Shea’s 61st-minute leveller at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

After Cancar had put the Jets ahead in the 65th minute, substitute Markovski – the son of NSL legend John – came off the bench to score his maiden A-Leagues goal with eight minutes remaining in the Unite Round showdown.

As the rain lashed down, Markovski then helped earn a late and contentious penalty – a handball against Dane Ingham following a VAR review, which veteran star O’Shea converted at the death.

It gave Ben Cahn his first win as head coach since being appointed to permanently replace Ross Aloisi, while it snapped Brisbane’s four-game losing streak.

The Jets, meanwhile, are 10th and five points outside the top six.

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