Brisbane beats Sydney FC with stoppage-time goals
SYDNEY (AP) -Brisbane scored twice in less than a minute in stoppage time to beat Sydney FC 2-1 and to keep up its pursuit of leader Central Coast in the A-League on Saturday.
Trailing 1-0 from the 39th minute, Brisbane first equalized through a Mohamed Adnan free kick then grabbed the lead when Besart Berisha headed home a Shane Stefanutto cross with seconds remaining.
The win ended a three-match losing streak and left Brisbane six points behind Central Coast, which drew 1-1 at home to Newcastle. The Melbourne Victory also drew 1-1 at home to Adelaide in the opening match of the weekend's 16th round.
The Melbourne Heart will play Perth, and Gold Coast will meet Wellington later Sunday.
Sydney FC looked set to end its run of six matches without a win when Mark Bridge gave it a 1-0 lead after 39 minutes. It carried that lead into the last minute of injury time when Brisbane staged a miraculous rally.
Adnan equalized with a brilliant, curling free kick and Albania international Berisha headed home the winner. But Berisha exchanged words with Sydney defender Pascal Bosschart after the final whistle, sparking a melee involving players and officials from both sides.
"We do a lot of things really well in our game but fighting isn't one of them. We should leave that to other sports,'' Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou said. "The vision I saw, (Berisha) shouldn't have gone over there (to Bosschart).
"There was enough going around but I don't think anything happened.
"If (Berisha) has crossed the line I'll address it with him, but at the moment I'll let things die down and get the information we need and go from there.''
Central Coast had to come from behind to grab a 1-1 draw with ninth-placed Newcastle. Labinot Haliti put the visitors ahead in the 17th minute and Patrick Zwaanswijk headed a 60th-minute equalizer to stretch Central Coast's unbeaten run to 13 matches.
Central Coast missed a first-half penalty for a hand ball as the New South Wales state derby ended in deadlock.
"Derbies all around the world are always tough games,'' coach Graham Arnold said. "The Jets are only a point away from sixth spot so there's a lot to fight for so we expected a tough match. But it was a good performance overall.''
Archie Thompson scored his seventh goal of the season to give the Melbourne Victory a 1-0 lead over Adelaide United after only six minutes on Friday. But Sergio van Dijk scored his fourth goal in three games in the 53rd minute to help Adelaide to a point.