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Football: Mariners keep A-League title pressure on Wanderers

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Central Coast Mariners kept alive their hopes of finishing top of the A-League standings with a 2-0 away win over Adelaide United on Sunday.

The win closed the gap on competition front-runners Western Sydney Wanderers heading into next weekend's 27th and final round.

League topscorer Daniel McBreen netted his 15th goal of the season in the fourth minute and substitute Mile Sterjovski scored two minutes from time as the Mariners closed the gap on the Wanderers to three points.

Central Coast (51 points) with a superior goal difference can claim the Premier's Plate with a win next week if the Wanderers (54 points) lose to Newcastle.

The A-League title is decided by a post-season playoff system leading to the all-deciding Grand Final on April 21.

Sydney FC ended Western Sydney Wanderers' 10-game winning streak with a 1-1 draw at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday in a pulsating Sydney derby in which both sides were reduced to 10 men.

Sydney held on against the Wanderers after an Alessandro Del Piero strike for the visitors in the 34th minute was matched by Shannon Cole's free-kick in the 69th minute.

The Wanderers' equaliser came after Sydney were reduced to 10 men in the 56th minute when captain Brett Emerton was handed a straight red card for a challenge on Cole.

In time added on, Italian Iacopo La Rocca was also given a straight red for striking Terry Antonis in the face.

Perth Glory strengthened their finals push with an injury-time Josh Risdon winner sealing a spectacular 3-2 win over Melbourne Victory in Melbourne on Saturday.

The playoffs remain in sight for defending champions Brisbane Roar after beating Melbourne Heart 2-0 at home on Sunday.

Albanian Besart Berisha scored net from the penalty spot in the 12th minute before a thumping long-range strike from German Thomas Broich in the 31st minute.

rsm/ia

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130324/football-mariners-keep-league-title-pressure-wanderers