Sydney FC have ended their five-game A-League winless streak, beating Wellington Phoenix 2-1 on Sunday despite the absence of marquee recruit Alessandro Del Piero.
With the former Juventus striker at home nursing a right hamstring strain, Sydney won in the New Zealand capital, dominating the match throughout to finally pick up three points after four losses and a draw.
Under new coach Frank Farina, Sebastian Ryall and Rhyan Grant scored for last-placed Sydney and the 10-man Sky Blues survived a late scare as Jeremy Brockie netted a stoppage-time penalty.
In the other Sunday match, Japanese import Shinji Ono's penalty in the 87th minute gave the first-year Western Sydney Wanderers a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar.
On Saturday, Central Coast striker Daniel McBreen scored both goals as the Mariners beat the Newcastle Jets 2-0 to stay atop the standings. McBreen scored four minutes after halftime, and headed in the second in the 66th.
"He's in wonderful form,'' Mariners coach Graham Arnold said of McBreen, the league's top-scorer with nine.
Adelaide remained one point behind the Mariners after winning 4-2 at home against Melbourne Victory. By halftime, there were five goals, six yellow cards and 16 fouls between the keen rivals in an ill-tempered match played in stifling heat.
Former Argentina under-20 player Marcelo Carrusca scored one goal, curling in a left-footer, and created two others for Adelaide, prompting coach John Kosmina to say Carrusca will prove to be the league's best import this year.
"He has the magic touch - he can see those kinds of things that a lot of other players don't, the timing, the quality,'' said Kosmina.
Melbourne Heart's Sudanese-born refugee Golgol Mebrahtu came off the bench to score a late winner on debut in the 1-0 win over Perth.
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