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1st-year Wanderers move into 1st place in A-League

March 2, 2013

SYDNEY (AP) — Labinot Haliti’s 81st-minute goal gave the first-year Greater Western Sydney Wanderers a 1-0 away win over Central Coast to replace the Mariners in first place in the A-League.

The win moved the Wanderers two points clear of the Mariners, who maintained first place for 14 consecutive weeks and had not lost at home this season.

Substitute Ben Halloran’s 82nd-minute goal gave the defending champion Brisbane Roar a 1-0 win over Adelaide United. Midfielder Halloran’s goal from 10 meters was created by a pass from striker Besart Berisha, who earlier missed a penalty.

Former Juventus star Alessandro Del Piero equalized with a 27-meter strike in the first half but his Sydney FC went down 2-1 to Perth Glory. That left Sydney out of a top-six playoff spot with five rounds to go.

On Sunday, Melbourne Heart travel to Wellington to play the Phoenix in the New Zealand capital, while the Melbourne Victory host Newcastle and the A-League’s other star recruit this season, former England striker and Jets star Emile Heskey.

After the loss to Brisbane, Adelaide United coach Michael Valkanis heavily criticized his players.

“The first half, we didn’t turn up,” Valkanis said. “There were too many stupid errors, too many turnovers, going backwards when we could go forwards, and even the goal was comical — two players crashing into each other.”

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