A-Leagues Wrap: Phoenix excite, Original Rivalry bites & Liberty A-League leaders win again

Seven games and a smorgasbord of goals, big results and even bigger talking points: it was a breathless Saturday in the A-Leagues from beginning to end.

In the Isuzu UTE A-League, Western United fell to Macarthur FC at Campbelltown Stadium, Melbourne Victory drew with Adelaide United in an enthralling ‘Original Rivalry’ at AAMI Park, while Perth Glory defeated defending champions Central Coast Mariners at HBF Park after Wellington Phoenix defeated Brisbane Roar at Sky Stadium.

In the Liberty A-League, Melbourne Victory eased past Adelaide United in the opener of a double-header at AAMI Park after Wellington Phoenix conquered Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory stayed perfect with a win away to Canberra United at McKellar Park.

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Melbourne Victory 1-1 Adelaide United – AAMI Park (Isuzu UTE A-League)

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MATCH REPORT: Deadlock in Original Rivalry as Victory and Adelaide both see red

Adelaide United frustrated Melbourne Victory to earn a point at AAMI Park on Saturday night, as tempers boiled over amid an Original Rivalry full of heat.

Bruno Fornaroli’s sixth goal of the season had given Victory the lead until Hiroshi Ibusuki scored a second half equaliser – followed by red cards for Roderick Miranda and Nestory Irankunda as the game ended in chaotic scenes.

On a captivating night at AAMI Park, Victory threw everything at their visitors from the off, and should have been out of sight by halftime.


Wellington Phoenix 2-1 Brisbane Roar – Sky Stadium (Liberty A-League)

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MATCH REPORT: Rise of the Phoenix – Wellington soar to historic first

Wellington Phoenix won back-to-back games for the first time in their Liberty A-League history after upstaging Brisbane Roar 2-1 on Saturday.

Mariana Speckmaier broke the deadlock in the sixth minute at Sky Stadium before legendary New Zealand international Annalie Longo capped her highly anticipated ‘Nix debut with a stunning goal to all but seal the points in the 85th minute.

A stoppage-time rocket from Mia Corbin reduced the deficit but the high-flying Phoenix defeated Brisbane for the first time ever after one defeat and two previous losses, while the Roar’s perfect start to the season came to an end.

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Wellington Phoenix 5-2 Brisbane Roar – Sky Stadium (Isuzu UTE A-League)

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MATCH REPORT: Hat-trick hero Zawada fuels Wellington’s best-ever Isuzu UTE A-League start after three rounds

Wellington Phoenix are off to their best-ever start to an Isuzu UTE A-League season inside the opening three rounds thanks to hat-trick hero Oskar Zawada and a thrilling 5-2 victory over Brisbane Roar.

Wellington and Brisbane put their undefeated records on the line at Sky Stadium and the high-flying Phoenix walked away with their unbeaten run intact on Saturday.

Oskar Zawada was the star of the show with his first A-Leagues hat-trick in a showdown which saw Florin Berenguer put the Roar ahead inside just 31 seconds.

Tim Payne’s first ever A-Leagues goal and Zawada’s first of the afternoon gave the Phoenix a half-time lead, only for Nikola Mileusnic to restore parity within five minutes of the restart.

However, Wellington blew the Roar away thanks to quick-fire goals from Bozhidar Kraev and Zawada, who went on to take home the match ball with a 93rd-minute finish.


Canberra United 2-3 Perth Glory – McKellar Park (Liberty A-League)

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MATCH REPORT: Perth Glory end Canberra hoodoo

Perth Glory continued their perfect start to the Liberty A-League season after overcoming Canberra United 3-2 in a classic at McKellar Park.

A second-half penalty from Sofia Sakalis proved to be the winner for Perth after a barnstorming first half saw four goals scored in front of a packed out crowd of 2,229 spectators on Saturday.


Melbourne Victory 2-0 Adelaide United – AAMI Park (Liberty A-League)

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MATCH REPORT: Victory sweep Adelaide aside to get first win of the season in style

Melbourne Victory finally kickstarted their Liberty A-League campaign at the third time of asking, sweeping Adelaide United aside 2-0 through a dominant performance at AAMI Park on Saturday.

On the front foot from the start, Jeff Hopkins’s side eased ahead through first-half goals from McKenzie Weinert and captain Kayla Morrison and could have added more against a lacklustre United side.

To compound Hopkins’s satisfaction, Matildas striker Emily Gielnik was able to accrue 20 minutes of action in her first action since mid-March.


Macarthur FC 1-0 Western United – Campbelltown Stadium (Isuzu UTE A-League)

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MATCH REPORT: Drama in Campbelltown as Auglah strikes late for Bulls to break Western resolve

Macarthur FC have equalled the club’s best-ever start to an Isuzu UTE A-League season, with Ali Auglah’s first league goal breaking Western United hearts in a 1-0 win to the Bulls at Campbelltown Stadium.

A string of stellar saves from Western United goalkeeper Thomas Heward-Belle kept John Aloisi’s side on level terms up until the 93rd minute, until Auglah benefited from a Ben Garuccio slip in the box to round the keeper and score the winner from a tight angle.

United lost 5-0 to Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 2 but brushed aside a woeful defensive performance with a much-improved outing in Campbelltown; Aloisi’s men looked set to clinch a well-earned point – and even had a pair of chances to snatch all three – before Auglah’s stoppage time winner.

Macarthur are unbeaten after three rounds, winning back-to-back games after a Round 1 draw to shake off last season’s wooden spoon and get off to a flying start in the 2023-24 campaign.


Perth Glory 2-0 Central Coast Mariners – HBF Park (Isuzu UTE A-League)

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MATCH REPORT: Super-sub Colakovski scores again as Glory down 10-man Mariners in Perth

Stefan Colakovski’s vibrant start to the new Isuzu UTE A-League season continued with a goal off the bench to launch Perth Glory to a 2-0 win over Central Coast Mariners at HBF Park on Saturday night.

The 23-year-old’s 52nd-minute strike came after his half-time introduction and, coupled with Adam Taggart’s classy finish in stoppage time, sent Glory on the way to victory over the reigning Champions at home, aided by a red card to Angel Torres for his clumsy knock to the head of Glory defender Jacob Muir in the second half.

Mariners star Marco Tulio had the ball in the back of the net just before the hour mark, but the Mariners’ equaliser would not stand as the linesman’s flag was correctly raised for an offside on the Brazilian.

The 2-0 result was Central Coast’s third defeat in as many games under new Football Manager Mark Jackson in a trying start the season.