Saturday, May 15, 2021

A-League: Top two held as battle heats up

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Apr 2021

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Melbourne City and Central Coast Mariners both dropped points on Saturday as the battle at the A-League summit intensified.

City, fresh from a resounding 7-0 win over rivals Melbourne Victory, missed the chance to extend their lead after being held to a 1-1 draw by Macarthur.

That came following a 2-2 draw for second-placed Central Coast Mariners against Sydney.

It means City’s advantage at the top is one point, while Macarthur are only three further back in fifth spot.

The Mariners failed to put maximum pressure on the leaders as they surrendered a two-goal lead on home soil.

Alen Stajcic’s men appeared to be coasting after first-half strikes from Marco Urena and Matty Simon, but Milos Ninkovic cut the deficit before the break.

And the comeback was completed seven minutes from time when Trent Buhagiar capitalised on a mistake at the back to seal a point for Sydney.

Presented with a chance to move three points clear at the top, City faltered.

Connor Metcalfe’s volley put Patrick Kisnorbo’s men ahead with a fine volley, but Macarthur earned a share of the spoils courtesy of Michael Ruhs following some questionable defending.

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