Sunday Recap: Highlights & key talking points from all five A-Leagues games

The A-Leagues action concluded on Sunday with a jam-packed slate of matches across the Liberty A-League and Isuzu UTE A-League.

Melbourne Victory kicked things off in style at the Home of the Matildas with a Beattie Goad double helping Jeff Hopkins’ side defeat Wellington Phoenix 5-3 in the Liberty A-League.

Central Coast Mariners trumped Adelaide United 2-0 in front of Matildas boss Tony Gustavsson while Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory played out a 1-1 draw.

In the Isuzu UTE A-League, Wellington Phoenix returned to the summit thanks to a 3-2 win over Adelaide United before Brisbane Roar stunned Melbourne Victory by the same scoreline at Suncorp Stadium.

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

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Melbourne Victory 5-3 Wellington Phoenix

A outstanding performance from the returning Beattie Goad has helped in-form Melbourne Victory thrash Wellington Phoenix 5-3 at the Home of the Matildas in Liberty A-League action.

Playing her first game in 71 days, Goad headed Victory in front after just 10 minutes before Tori Hansen then doubled their advantage soon after on Sunday.

MATCH REPORT: Star returns after 71-day absence from football to help Victory prolong Wellington’s road woes

Goad then made it 3-0 soon after before an own goal from Rylee Foster seemingly put the game to bed before half-time.

However four more goals would be scored in a thrilling second-half, including two in the space of a minute, but Victory held on for a valuable win.

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Central Coast Mariners 2-0 Adelaide United – Industree Group Stadium

Central Coast Mariners made it back-to-back wins in the Liberty A-League, defeating Adelaide United 2-0 to cement their spot in the top six.

Tiarna Karambasis scored her first ever Liberty A-League goal in the 50th minute to give the Mariners the lead before Wurigumula sealed the win midway through the second half on Sunday.

MATCH REPORT: Moment to remember for Mariners midfielder as Central Coast march on in front of Matildas boss

The result at Industree Group Stadium – where Matildas head coach Tony Gustavsson was a keen onlooker – leaves Emily Husband’s Central Coast in fifth spot on the ladder, but crucially, they hold a four-point buffer inside the finals positions.

Gustvasson, who recently revealed he planned to prioritise watching specific individuals live, was seen talking to Mariners forward Kyah Simon on the pitch at full-time.

As for Adelaide, the Reds remain second bottom in the standings after suffering what was their 10th defeat of the campaign.

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Newcastle Jets 1-1 Perth Glory – Maitland Sports Ground

A stunning strike from MelindaJ Barbieri has secured a point for Newcastle Jets as they drew 1-1 with Perth Glory at Maitland Sports Ground in the Liberty A-League.

Perth started the brighter of the two sides and were rewarded for their efforts just two minutes in after a cross from the right ricocheted off two Newcastle defenders before finding it’s way into the net on Sunday.

MATCH REPORT: Barbieri scores a belter but Glory cling on to point thanks to save-of-the-season contender

Newcastle clawed their way back into the contest in the second half as Barbieri scored a spectacular half-volley.

The Jets then thought they’d won it deep into stoppage time, however Glory goalkeeper Morgan Aquino thwarted Josie Allan with an incredible save to ensure it finished in a draw.

The result leaves Newcastle sat in sixth place and holding on to the last finals position, one place ahead of Perth who sit just below them in seventh.

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Wellington Phoenix 3-2 Adelaide United – Sky Stadium

Giancarlo ‘Chiefy’ Italiano has a growing reputation for his tactical nous and it was on full display in Wellington Phoenix’s 3-2 victory over Adelaide United in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

With the score deadlocked at 1-1 and the high-flying Phoenix in need of a spark, Wellington head coach Italiano turned to his bench with a quadruple substitution in the 68th minute on Sunday.

MATCH REPORT: Chiefy’s masterstroke turns match on its head as Phoenix answer Mariners challenge

It was a stroke of genius as Oskar van Hattum found the back of the net within 44 seconds of his introduction – his first A-Leagues goal after Luka Jovanovic had cancelled out Ben Old’s 34th-minute opener.

Old put the result beyond doubt with a powerful half-volley in the 78th minute to ensure Wellington – riding a 10-match undefeated streak – restored their three-point buffer atop the standings following Central Coast Mariners’ F3 Derby success on Saturday.

Adelaide, who reduced the deficit in stoppage time, are 10th in the standings amid a six-game winless run.

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Brisbane Roar 3-2 Melbourne Victory – Suncorp Stadium

Marco Rojas was a fan favourite who scored almost 50 goals for Melbourne Victory across three stints, but he was a thorn in their side on Sunday after leading finals-chasing Brisbane Roar to a statement 3-2 win.

Rojas was the hero in his first start at Suncorp Stadium, where the New Zealand international opened his Roar account with a brace to guide Brisbane to a sixth consecutive match without defeat against former side Victory (W3 D3).

MATCH REPORT: Familiar face comes back to haunt Melbourne Victory with his first A-Leagues goals in 2 years

Dubbed the ‘Kiwi Messi’, Rojas broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute and restored Brisbane’s lead in the 56th minute after Zinedine Machach had equalised before half-time as he scored in the A-Leagues for the first time since April 2022 following a stint with Chilean giants Colo Colo.Roar’s teenage sensation Thomas Waddingham maintained his red-hot form with his fifth goal in four matches as Brisbane snapped a two-game skid while extending their undefeated run on home soil to four matches.

The result boosted Roar’s finals hopes – with the 2023 Australia Cup runners-up now seventh and within three points of the top six. Fourth-placed Victory, meanwhile, were left with just one win in nine games and they dropped nine points off the pace following back-to-back losses despite Roly Bonevacia’s late strike.

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