Western Sydney could edge to within one point of top dogs Brisbane Roar with a win on Tuesday but coach Tony Popovic says he’s not focused on the ladder.
A-League frontrunners Brisbane suffered a rare home loss and now have Western Sydney hot on their tails again – not that Wanderers coach Tony Popovic would be caught ladder watching.
The Roar lost at Suncorp Stadium for just the second time this season, going down to eighth-placed Adelaide 2-1 on Saturday.
Teenager Jordan Elsey upstaged Brisbane’s star striker Besart Berisha to snatch the late victory.
The youngster, making just his third appearance off the bench for the Reds, headed home an injury-time goal to give Adelaide their first win on the road this season.
The Wanderers closed the gap to four points from top-placed Roar with their dramatic 1-0 derby victory over Sydney FC.
Former Sky Blue player Brendon Santalab netted the winner at the death to ensure the three points in front of over 18,000 fans at Pirtek Stadium.
Frank Farina’s men slid to seventh place after going four games without a win.
“It’s disappointing to fall out of the six bit there’s still a lot of football to be played and a lot of twists and turns,” Farina said.
Western Sydney now face Melbourne Victory away on Tuesday, when a win will lift them to just one point adrift of top spot.
“We had a fantastic game against Victory a fortnight ago,” Popovic said.
“They scored a great goal to equalise that day and we’ll do everything we can to take the three points this time.”
But Popovic insists he isn’t paying any attention to how close they now sit to Roar on the table.
“I didn’t know that until after the game, which I guess tells you where our focus is – on us doing our job. Brisbane is Brisbane.”
The Victory will be just as determined to get a win on Tuesday after having to settle for a 1-1 draw to Newcastle on Friday.
A Mitch Nichols own-goal forced Victory to share the spoils at Hunter Stadium.
Nichols found the back of his own net late in the first half before Andrew Nabbout saved his blushes finding the equaliser shortly after the restart.
Defending champions Central Coast halted Wellington’s three-game winning streak, forcing them to settle for a 1-1 draw at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.
The Mariners remain in fourth place with the point while the Phoenix are unmoved in ninth.
Meanwhile Melbourne Heart extended their winless run to 19 games with a 3-0 loss away to Perth Glory on Friday, the dire streak matching the mark set by the now-defunct New Zealand Knights in 2005-06.
The Heart haven’t scored a goal in their past three matches to remain anchored to bottom of the ladder.