Saturday Recap: Highlights & key talking points from all four A-Leagues games

Saturday’s A-Leagues action saw two matches apiece in the Liberty A-League and Isuzu UTE A-League.

In the Liberty A-League, Western Sydney Wanderers were stunned by Wellington Phoenix at Porirua Park before Canberra United shocked Brisbane Roar at Perry Park.

Over in the Isuzu UTE A-League, three-time reigning premiers Melbourne City were held to a draw by Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park, while defending champions Central Coast Mariners were overpowered by Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.

Re-live all the highlights and biggest talking points from the four-game agenda in today’s matchday hub.

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Liberty A-League

Wellington Phoenix 2-0 Western Sydney Wanderers – Porirua Park

MATCH REPORT: Top-six race goes down to final day with Wanderers’ season in the balance

Western Sydney Wanderers will have to wait until Sunday to discover if they will feature in the Liberty A-League Finals Series following a shock 2-0 defeat away to Wellington Phoenix.

The Wanderers had the chance to secure their top-six berth on Saturday but Wellington had other ideas as Emma Main’s career-first brace ensured the Phoenix ended the 2023-24 campaign on a winning note.

Western Sydney are sixth and clinging to a spot in the Finals Series, with the Wanderers, fifth-placed Newcastle Jets and seventh-placed Melbourne Victory locked on 33 points.

Victory face Big Blue rivals and league-leading Sydney FC on Sunday. A point or a win in their regular-season finale would see Victory sensationally leapfrog the Wanderers into the top six.

MATCH CENTRE: Click here for stats, updates, video and more

Brisbane Roar 1-2 Canberra United – Perry Park

MATCH REPORT: Matildas star equals Sam Kerr’s A-Leagues record as Canberra complete incredible late comeback

Michelle Heyman earned a slice of Liberty A-League history and Vesna Milivojevic scored at the death as Canberra United emerged from the jaws of defeat to stun Brisbane Roar 2-1.

Brisbane appeared on track to snap a six-game winless run against Canberra after Jenna McCormick put the Roar ahead minutes before half-time at Perry Park on Saturday.

But Matildas star Heyman, who broke Sam Kerr’s record for the most goal involvements (goals and assists) recorded by any player in a single Liberty A-League season during the week, sparked an incredible late comeback in the 22nd and final round.

The A-Leagues legend – five goals clear atop the scorers charts – equalised in the 84th minute to not only extend her Golden Boot lead with goal number 17 but it equalled the Liberty A-League record for goals in a season held by Matildas superstar Kerr (2018-19 when there were 12 matches in the season).

Milivojevic then struck two minutes later to lift 11th-placed Canberra to victory in their season finale, while Brisbane ended the campaign ninth and two points better off than their opponents.

MATCH CENTRE: Click here for stats, updates, video and more

Isuzu UTE A-League

Melbourne City 0-0 Newcastle Jets – AAMI Park

MATCH REPORT: Tempers flare in a result the first of its kind between City & Jets

Melbourne City and Newcastle Jets played out an entertaining and fierce 0-0 draw in the Isuzu UTE A-League on Saturday.

Tempers flared in Melbourne, where City and the Jets played out a goalless draw for the first time in their A-League Men history.

Leo Natel escaped with a yellow card after clashing with Newcastle in the second half, while Jamie Maclaren, Mathew Leckie, Marin Jakolis and Max Caputo were all thwarted by Jets goalkeeper Ryan Scott at AAMI Park.

Nuno Reis also had a goal ruled out in the first half as City – unbeaten in three matches – moved within a point of the top six after 22 games, while the Jets remain second from bottom.

MATCH CENTRE: Click here for stats, updates, video and more

Sydney FC 2-0 Central Coast Mariners – Allianz Stadium

MATCH REPORT: Relentless Sydney FC overpower Premiership-chasing Mariners in statement win

Sydney FC huffed and puffed, and eventually blew away Central Coast Mariners 2-0 in a dominant Isuzu UTE A-League performance.

For 73 minutes, Sydney were frustrated by defending champions and Premiership-chasing Central Coast but Anthony Caceres broke their stubborn resistance at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

Caceres’ well-taken volley put the Sky Blues ahead before Socceroos full-back Joel King scored his first Sydney goal three minutes later in the 77th minute as the home side made it five wins in six matches against Central Coast.

With the win, fifth-placed Sydney cemented their spot in the top six and moved within six points of the second-placed Mariners and a point behind Macarthur FC and Melbourne Victory through 22 games.

For the Mariners, who had lost one of their past 23 matches in all competitions, tasted defeat for the first time since going down to the Sky Blues in February as they missed the chance to move level on points with leaders Wellington Phoenix.

MATCH CENTRE: Click here for stats, updates, video and more