Soccer

Postecoglou makes winning departure from A-League

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SYDNEY (AP)

New national coach Ange Postecoglou ended his immediate involvement in the A-League when he guided the Melbourne Victory to a 1-0 win over his former club Brisbane in the weekend's third round.

Postecoglou, who won two A-League titles with Brisbane before joining the Victory, was named midweek to lead Australia for the next five years, replacing German-born Holger Osieck and becoming the first Australian to coach the Socceroos since Frank Farina in 2005.

Farina's Sydney FC side, playing without injured captain Alessandro Del Piero, lost 2-0 to the Western Sydney Wanderers who were spurred by a goal from Japan's Shinji Ono.

A second-minute goal to Nick Fitzgerald gave champions Central Coast a 1-0 win over Adelaide United.

Brisbane's loss to the Victory was their first of the season after their 2-1 win over Wellington and 4-0 win over Sydney FC. They remain at the top of the table but only a point ahead of the Victory, Central Coast and Western Sydney.

Perth beat the Melbourne Heart 1-0 for its first win of the season while Newcastle, yet to score a goal in three matches, drew 0-0 with Wellington.

Postecoglou ensured he left the Victory's affairs in order as he took his leave from the A-League. The win over Brisbane was their first of the season following draws with Adelaide and the Heart.

Postecoglou said the win ended a ''difficult week'' for both himself and the Victory as his move to the national coaching role was negotiated.

''I've carried this burden,'' he said. ''Unfortunately, because of my circumstances this football club's had to deal with things that it shouldn't have.

''Whenever you get an opportunity like this (to coach in the A-League) you want to repay that, and I don't think I have, leaving at this point. In terms of my input I still think that the club's in great shape. But you kinda leave thinking you should have put more into it and seen it through.''

Sydney again lacked direction in the absence of Italian star Del Piero, who has a calf injury. Western Sydney's own Italian import, Iacopo La Rocca, and Ono scored as the Wanderers won in front of a crowd of 40,388 - the largest for a regular season match in Sydney FC's history.

''I thought the effort was there,'' Farina said. ''We made two mistakes and again one was after a set piece - it was just poor marking - and we got punished for both.

''Two-nil makes it hard but they kept on trying. We just lacked a bit of creativity up front.''

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