Brisbane extends unbeaten streak in A-League
First-placed Brisbane extended its unbeaten streak to 12 matches in Australian football's A-League when it drew 1-1 with last-placed North Queensland in weekend 16th-round games.
The hard-fought draw at home gave Brisbane a three-point lead at the top of the league table after second-placed Adelaide closed the gap on Friday with a 2-0 win over Melbourne Heart.
Brisbane had to come from behind after conceding a ninth-minute goal to Gareth Edds. Ivan Franjic grabbed the equalizer for the Roar with only five minutes of normal time remaining.
North Queensland made light of its last-place status and looked the better team for most of the match.
''I didn't think it was going to come tonight to be honest,'' Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou said. ''It was a tough night for the boys. Once again the boys played it right out to the end and they got the goal.''
Adelaide closed in on top spot with a rare win in Melbourne, beating the Heart 2-0 with goals from Robbie Cornthwaite and Marcos Flores.
Gold Coast won 3-2 away at Central Coast to leapfrog the Mariners into third place and end the Gosford club's unbeaten home record this season.
The teams were locked 1-1 at halftime but traded three goals in four minutes in the second half before Gold Coast came out on top with Andrew Barisic's 74th-minute winner.
Newcastle had a 1-0 home win over Wellington, thanks to a second half goal from Marko Jesic. Newcastle's second win in a week saw the teams pass each other on the ladder as the Jets rose from ninth to seventh and the Phoenix dropped from seventh to eighth.
Wellington's season had been on the slide since recently giving up a 24-match unbeaten streak at home.
''It's been a battle for a few weeks now,'' coach Ricki Herbert said. ''We just look like a side who can't win, which is frustrating.
''We've just got to keep working hard, at the end of the day it's not going to get any easier and games are going to keep coming our way.''
Sydney celebrated striker Alex Brosque's 100th match for the club by beating Perth 2-0.
Shannon Cole scored in the 75th minute and Brosque six minutes later as defending champion Sydney banked only its third win from 15 games this season.
''It sort of crept up pretty quickly, I didn't expect to be playing a hundred so soon,'' Brosque said. ''But I'm very happy and hopefully I can play another hundred.''