Melbourne Victory assumed top spot in the A-League on Saturday as they saw off Adelaide United 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium to record a fourth-straight win.
Victory were handed the opportunity to move a point clear with a game in hand by Brisbane Roar – who could only manage a 1-1 draw against Newcastle Jets earlier in the day.
Roar had looked set to end the weekend top of the table when James Maclaren coolly sidefooted home the opener seven minutes into the second half at Hunter Stadium.
However, Jets recovered to force a third consecutive A-League draw when Ben Kantarovski made the most of a goalline scramble to force home the equaliser 19 minutes from time.
And later in the day, Victory wasted little time going after top spot in a game that saw home fans walk out in a protest at recent coverage regarding banned A-League fans in the Australian media as well as the apparent lack of an appeals process from Football Federation Australia.
On the pitch, Besart Berisha tucked away his sixth A-League goal of the season from the spot 14 minutes in following a foul on Jason Geria inside the area.
Berisha has now scored seven goals in his last five games across all competitions, and when Oliver Bozanic doubled the lead before the half-hour, victory was all but sealed for the A-League champions.
Rock-bottom Adelaide were given hope when Marcelo Carrusca reduced the arrears with a late penalty but it mattered little as Kevin Muscat’s men moved a point clear of Brisbane with a game in hand.
Third-placed Western Sydney Wanderers will move level on points with Victory if they beat Central Coast Mariners on Sunday.