Central Coast draw 1-1 with Melbourne Victory
SYDNEY (AP) -Daniel McBreen's 13th goal of the season from the penalty spot rallied Central Coast to draw 1-1 with the Melbourne Victory and stay atop the A-League on Saturday.
Central Coast was without coach Graham Arnold, who had been ordered from the sideline for abusing match officials, when McBreen cancelled out Marcos Flores's first-half goal with a 77th-minute equalizer.
The result left Central Coast two points clear of Adelaide, which opened the 16th round with a 3-2 win over Perth.
Arnold later apologized for his behavior saying "it was mainly down to frustration at our poor performance in the first half.''
"It was the first time in two and a half years I've had to go off my head at halftime (at the players). I said something (to the officials) I shouldn't have said and I'll cop whatever.''
Arnold faces an automatic $1,000 fine from Central Coast, the club's standard penalty for a red card. He is also likely to face disciplinary action from the A-League.
Arnold's frustration stemmed from the fact Central Coast was completely outplayed by Melbourne in the first half. The Victory created a succession of scoring chances but weren't able to convert until Flores scored just before halftime.
Jolted by Arnold's message, Central Coast played with more purpose and co-ordination in the second half and gained a point with McBreen's late equalizer.
Argentine forward Jeronimo came off the bench to score twice as Adelaide beat Perth for its 10th win of the season, closing the gap between first and second to two points.
Jeronimo started on the bench but joined the action after only a minute when striker Bruce Djite suffered a groin strain. He put Adelaide ahead in the 28th minute and added his second nine minutes later.
Winger Iain Ramsay put Adelaide 3-0 ahead early in the second half before Perth rallied with late goals to Shane Smeltz, from a penalty, and Steve McGarry.
Newcastle overcame the loss of former England striker Emile Heskey to a hip injury with a 1-0 win over defending champion Brisbane. Ryan Griffiths scored in the 47th minute to lift Newcastle back inside the top six and into playoffs contention.
"It would have been a travesty if we didn't get all three points tonight,'' Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond said. "We've seen how well Emile has played for us so to not have our marquee player was a test.
"To get a result when he's not on the field will develop a lot of good character for this team.''
Fourth-place Western Sydney will be away to Wellington and last-place Sydney FC was due to host the Melbourne Heart in matches on Sunday.