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Football: Wanderers win eight straight to leapfrog Mariners

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Competition newcomers Western Sydney Wanderers won their eighth straight game to usurp Central Coast Mariners and take over at the top of Australia's A-League with a stirring 1-0 win this weekend.

The Wanderers knocked the Mariners off the top of the standings with four rounds left to next month's playoffs through an 81st-minute goal from Labinot Haliti before more than 18,000 fans in steady rain in Gosford on Saturday.

Tony Popovic's Wanderers became the first team to beat the Mariners at home this season and put the new boys in the top spot which the Mariners had occupied for 14 consecutive weeks.

In one of the games of the season, the Mariners missed a penalty through goalkeeper Mathew Ryan, while Daniel McBreen hit the underside of the bar before Haliti's winner.

Melbourne Victory hold down third spot after a 5-0 win over 10-man Newcastle Jets in Melbourne on Sunday.

Marco Rojas and Mark Milligan scored twice, Milligan's goals both from penalties, as the Victory broke a run of three losses which culminated in last round's 6-2 defeat to Central Coast.

Jets' defender Taylor Regan picked up his second yellow card for dragging down Daniel Mullen off the ball allowing Milligan his second goal from the spot.

Substitute Ben Halloran clinched a vital away win for Brisbane Roar with the match-winner in a 1-0 triumph against Adelaide United on Saturday.

The midfielder slotted an 82nd minute goal to give the Roar deserved reward for dominating the struggling Reds.

Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero produced a long-range strike but it was not enough as Sydney FC crashed to a 2-1 defeat to strugglers Perth Glory in Perth on Saturday.

Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic could only watch on as Del Piero produced a thunderbolt in the 29th minute for his 12th goal of the season to level the score following Chris Harold's earlier strike.

But New Zealand international Shane Smeltz's 35th-minute volley was enough for Perth to secure all three points.

Wellington Phoenix beat Melbourne Heart 1-0 in Dunedin on Sunday.

rsm/mtp

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130303/football-wanderers-win-eight-straight-leapfrog-mariners