A-League champions Melbourne City threw a two-goal lead away to draw 2-2 away at Adelaide United in their second game of the season.

City kicked their title defence off with a 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar in their opening match and looked set to make it two wins from two after goals from Jamie Maclaren and Andrew Nabbout gave them a 2-0 advantage after 61 minutes.

However, Adelaide struck twice in the closing stages, with Stefan Mauk halving the deficit before Ben Halloran grabbed a dramatic 90th-minute equaliser to stun City.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Sydney, who finished just two points behind City in second last season, slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Macarthur at home after an early Lachlan Rose strike.

Macarthur are now level on points with table-topping City and Wellington Phoenix, who beat Central Coast Mariners 2-1, but are behind the pair on goals scored and sit third.

Gary Hooper scored for the second game running for the Phoenix in their home clash with the Mariners, who pulled one back through Marco Urena before Jaushua Sotirio fired in the winner.

The Nix are now unbeaten in 13 matches stretching back into last season and face Western Sydney Wanderers in their next game.

Daniel Sturridge made a brief cameo off the bench and Bruno Fornaroli scored a stunning equaliser as Perth Glory began their A-League campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Adelaide United on Saturday.

The signing of former Liverpool and England striker Sturridge has piqued the interest in Australian football, with the 32-year-old back in the professional game after departing Trabzonspor in March 2020.

However, fans were only treated to a short glimpse of Sturridge at HFB Park, where the hosts were forced to come from behind to clinch a point.

Kusini Yengi coolly side-footed home the opener for Adelaide, only for Fornaroli to level five minutes before half-time with a ferocious 30-yard effort.

Antonee Burke-Gilroy later thought he had a first A-League goal but he and Perth were denied for offside by a VAR check.

Last season's beaten finalists Sydney FC played out a goalless draw in the derby against Western Sydney Wanderers, for whom former Everton, Manchester City and Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell made his debut off the bench.

Indeed, Rodwell almost made a swift impact with a 30-yard rocket that Andrew Redmayne saved, as a boisterous crowd at CommBank Stadium witnessed a stalemate.

Tony Popovich made a winning start to his Melbourne Victory tenure, with stand-in captain Roderick Miranda heading in the only goal of the game in a 1-0 triumph over Western United.

Melbourne City gained revenge over 10-man Sydney FC with a 3-1 Grand Final victory to claim a first A-League title at AAMI Park on Sunday.

City were beaten by the Sky Blues in the Grand Final last year, but Patrick Kisnorbo's side were not to be denied this time around as they completed a Premiership-Championship double.

Kosta Barbarouses put the defending champions in front, but Nathaniel Atkinson equalised soon after and Sydney were rocked by Luke Brattan's first-half dismissal for a second bookable offence.

Scott Jamieson's penalty put Melbourne in front on the stroke of half-time and Scott Galloway sealed the victory in stoppage time at the end of a dramatic final, with Sydney unable to become the first team to win three successive titles.

After going 10 seasons without lifting a trophy, Melbourne have claimed two in the space of five weeks.

The defending champions drew first blood against the run of play with 21 minutes played, Barbarouses rifling into the bottom-left corner of the net with his right foot from just outside the penalty area on the counter-attack.

City were level just a couple of minutes later, though, Atkinson firing into the top-right corner following an incisive run from Stefan Colakovski.

The Sky Blues suffered a huge blow 10 minutes before the break as Brattan was given his marching orders by referee Chris Beath for a challenge on Marco Tilio.

Sydney felt aggrieved once again when Beath pointed to the spot after Adrian Luna went down seemingly following minimal contact from Anthony Caceres, with Jamieson sending Thomas Heward-Belle from the spot on the stroke of half-time,

Melbourne applied huge pressure in the second half but the third goal proved to be elusive until Galloway found the back of the net with his left foot with time almost up.

Melbourne City scored twice inside two minutes in the second half to overcome Macarthur 2-0 and set an A-League Grand Final rerun against reigning champions Sydney FC.

After a goalless first 45 minutes at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium – the alternative venue for the fixture due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne – City suddenly seized control of the contest.

Marco Tilio created space out wide to send over a low cross that Stefan Colakovski converted at the near post in the 54th minute.

Macarthur came into the game on a five-match unbeaten away run but fell further behind when the same pairing helped Melbourne double their advantage.

Colakovski was the provider second time around, latching onto a long ball before squaring a pass across for the supporting Tilio to finish beyond goalkeeper Adam Federici.

At 19 years and 301 days, teenager Tilio becomes the third-youngest player to score in a semi-final in the competition, behind only Riley McGree and Mitch Nichols.

Sydney had booked a return ticket to the Grand Final on Saturday, edging out Adelaide United 2-1 thanks to first-half goals from Adam Le Fondre and Bobo. They won the title in 2020 thanks to an extra-time winner from Rhyan Grant.

Sydney FC remain on course for a third straight A-League Championship after beating Adelaide United 2-1 at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Saturday's semi-final.

Adelaide produced an upset by beating Brisbane Roar in the Elimination Finals but could not replicate that performance in their semi-final with Sydney.

Adam Le Fondre was on target when the sides met in the regular season last month and converted from the penalty spot to put the hosts ahead in Saturday's clash.

Brazilian striker Bobo added a second before half-time and the Sky Blues held on, despite Le Fondre's penalty miss and Juande's stunning strike to set up a nervy finish.

The home team were awarded a  24th-minute penalty for James Delianov's challenge on Kosta Barbarouses, with Le Fondre sending the goalkeeper the wrong way from 12 yards.

Bobo doubled his side's advantage with a sliding first-time shot to round off a well-crafted move just before the break.

It looked like being plain sailing for Sydney when Javi Lopez took out Barbarouses in the box, but Le Fondre's penalty was saved by Delianov and that sparked an Adelaide revival.

Tomi Juric's free-kick hit the Sydney wall but Juande thumped in the loose ball from 20 yards with a little over 25 minutes still to play.

Thomas Heward-Belle was required to keep out efforts from Juric and Jordan Elsey, but Sydney held on to reach their third final in a row and a fifth in seven years.

Melbourne City and Macarthur FC meet in the other semi-final on Sunday.

Central Coast Mariners will host Macarthur in a home A-League elimination-final next weekend after beating Western United 2-0 following Brisbane Roar's defeat to Sydney FC.

Brisbane were beaten 2-0 by second-placed Sydney in their final match of the regular season at Moreton Daily Stadium on Saturday.

Goals from Kosta Barbarouses and Harry Van der Saag opened the door for the Mariners to move above the Roar and take third place, an opportunity they grabbed with both hands.

Jack Clisby struck in the first half and Marco Urena sealed the victory in stoppage time at Central Coast Stadium.

Alen Stajcic will pit his wits against fellow former Matildas coach Ante Milicic in an all-New South Wales clash next Saturday.

The Roar will have an extra day to prepare for a home showdown with Adelaide United a week on Sunday, when a place in the semi-finals will be up for grabs.

Newcastle Jets moved off the bottom of the table courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Perth Glory, A Jonathan Aspropotamitis own goal giving them a point after Bruno Fornaroli opened the scoring.

That point moved the Jets above Melbourne Victory, while Perth remain ninth.

Adam Le Fondre scored twice as Sydney FC fired a warning to the rest of the A-League top-six challengers with a 4-1 win over Adelaide United.

The Reds could have drawn level with Sydney in second place in the table with a victory but were firmly out of the contest even before Jordan Elsey was sent off with 63 minutes played.

Le Fondre's superb header from Rhyan Grant's cross put the visitors ahead at Coopers Stadium after just six minutes, and the experienced striker spurned a good chance for a second before the break.

Stefan Mauk hit the post for Adelaide early in the second half and Le Fondre compounded their frustrations two minutes later, burying his second after James Delianov had denied Kosta Barbarouses.

Le Fondre then turned provider, crossing low from the right to present Bobo with a simple finish, the goal given after a VAR review saw an initial offside call correctly overturned.

Elsey, who was arguably fortunate to receive only a yellow card for a two-footed tackle on Bobo in the first half, earned his second booking when he brought down Anthony Caceres.

Teenager Patrick Wood scored a minute after coming off the bench after a positive run, with Yaya Dukuly's first A-League goal at the end of a slick move providing little consolation to Adelaide, who saw an eight-game home unbeaten run come to an end.

Sydney are now four points behind leaders Melbourne City, having played a game more.

Bobo got the only goal as Sydney FC ended a derby drought in their rivalry with Western Sydney Wanderers, whose hopes of reaching the A-League Finals suffered a major blow.

The 1-0 win for Sydney FC at the SCG extended their 100 per cent record – now three wins from three – in games played at the world-famous cricket ground.

Brazilian Bobo and Western Sydney's Bruce Kamau had goals disallowed before the game's decisive moment arrived in the 62nd minute, Milos Ninkovic's dinked cross from the left deftly headed into the bottom right corner by Sydney's prolific striker.

It gave Bobo a 10th goal in 19 A-League appearances this season and his fifth goal in games between the Sky Blues and Western Sydney. Only Alex Brosque (six) has scored more goals in the history of the rivalry.

The neat finish also allowed Sydney to end their six-game winless run against Western Sydney (L3 D3), with their most recent previous victory having come in December 2018.

Sydney sit second in the table, with Melbourne City having already secured the Premiers Plate, but the race is on for post-season places and Western Sydney are in danger of missing out. Needing a top-six finish, they sit ninth with three games remaining, three points adrift of sixth-placed Brisbane Roar, who have a game in hand.

Adelaide United nudged up to third position with a 1-0 win over lowly Melbourne Victory, with Craig Goodwin scoring in the 39th minute, securing a seventh win for the Reds in the last eight league meetings between the sides.

Perth Glory's Finals hopes were hit by a 1-1 draw against fifth-placed Macarthur. 

Diego Castro put hosts Perth ahead in the 13th minute from the penalty spot after Andy Keogh was impeded, but Matt Derbyshire levelled on the half-hour mark, plundering his 14th goal of the campaign from close range.

James Troisi had a hand in four goals as Western Sydney Wanderers thrashed Western United 5-0 in the A-League on Saturday.

The Australia international opened the scoring with a thumping strike into the top corner and added two assists as well as forcing an own goal from Western United substitute Dylan Pierias.

Troisi created goals for Ziggy Gordon and Bruce Kamau either side of half-time before Pierias' own goal and a last-minute effort from Bernie Ibini rounded out the scoring.

The result puts Western Sydney up to sixth in the table, just one point off second place in a tightly packed group of sides pursuing spots in the Finals.

Defending champions Sydney FC are the side sitting at the front of that pack in second position after they struggled to a 1-1 draw away at bottom club Newcastle Jets.

A penalty from Roy O'Donovan after 59 minutes gave Jets hope of a famous victory.

But they were denied by a bizarre own goal 14 minutes from time as an attempted clearance from Connor O'Toole struck the chest of Nigel Boogaard and bounced in.

Valentino Yuel missed a big late chance to recapture the lead, the result meaning Newcastle have gone 12 matches without a victory and are a point behind Melbourne Victory.

Sydney, who only got four of their 19 attempts on target, have won just one of their last six matches in the competition.

Western Sydney Wanderers claimed an enthralling 3-2 derby win over Sydney FC to keep Melbourne City's four-point lead at the top of the A-League intact.

Steve Corica's men had designs on eating into that advantage but were caught cold by their neighbours at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday.

Bruce Kamau clattered home Ziggy Gordon's low right-wing cross via the upright in the 12th minutes and it was soon 2-0 when Mitchell Duke found the bottom corner on the end of Bernie Ibini's deft flick to crown a wonderful team move.

Sydney FC avoided any further damage before the break and Alex Wilkinson headed home Alexander Baumjohann's corner two minutes into the second period to breathe fresh life into the contest.

Wanderers substitute Scott McDonald was the beneficiary of further slack set-piece marking 16 minutes from time and the hosts appeared to be safe as the game ticked towards 90 minutes.

Sydney FC produced a remarkable late rally, though – Bobo blazing an 82nd-minute penalty over after the VAR penalised Western Sydney skipper Graham Dorrans for a challenge on Trent Buhagiar.

The experienced striker made amends by pouncing for his 50th A-League goal in stoppage time and there was still time for Anthony Caceres to smash a shot from outside the box against the underside of the crossbar.

Saturday's other matches lacked for similar drama as Macarthur's trip to Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar's home game against Wellington Phoenix each finished goalless.

An early goal from Bobo was enough to give Sydney FC a 1-0 home win over Melbourne Victory that put them second in the A-League on Tuesday.

Bobo headed in a cross from Luke Brattan after six minutes as Sydney ended a run of three consecutive draws to move one point behind leaders Melbourne City, though they have played two games more.

Victory remain second-bottom despite a battling performance without suspended quartet Callum McManaman, Robbie Kruse, Jake Brimmer and Adama Traore.

Sydney forward Kosta Barbarouses had three efforts kept out by Matt Acton, who ended the match with an impressive nine saves that kept the contest close.

The hosts were worthy winners, finishing with 10 shots on target to Victory's three, Alex Baumjohann creating five chances in a lively showing.

But Ben Folami squandered a headed opportunity for Victory while Lleyton Brooks hit the post in the second half with an aerial effort of his own as Sydney almost paid the price for not putting the result beyond doubt.

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.

Adelaide United missed the chance to go top of the A-League but at least avoided suffering defeat as they fought from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Sydney on Sunday.

It looked as though Adelaide were on their way to a second loss in four games, as Bobo rounded off a lovely move to open the scoring in the 19th minute, before doubling his tally early in the second half with a simple finish into an empty net after Kosta Barbarouses wasted a one-on-one situation.

But United pulled one back 15 minutes from time, Jordan Elsey turning in a left-wing cross, and Tomi Juric's fierce strike a few moments later restored parity.

Adelaide might have gone on to seal the win and subsequently leap above Melbourne City, who went top on Saturday with a remarkable 7-0 derby win over Melbourne Victory, but Rhyan Grant brought Craig Goodwin down as the last man to earn a straight red deep into stoppage time.

Just outside Sydney, Macarthur were held to a 2-2 draw by the Newcastle Jets, whose club-record winless streak was extended to eight games.

But just as they did last week against Perth Glory, the Jets showed character to fight back from behind, with Charles M'Mombwa and Loic Puyo putting Macarthur 2-1 up after Roy O'Donovan's penalty had initially put the visitors in front.

Steven Ugarkovic equalised just before the hour mark with a gorgeous 20-yard effort and that ultimately salvaged a point.

The day's late game was similarly entertaining and did yield a winner as Wellington Phoenix beat Glory 3-1, with all goals coming in the second half.

Ben Waine caught Glory goalkeeper Luke Reddy out of his net for the first, only for Joel Chianese to equalise two minutes later with a stunning effort, picking out the top-left corner after slaloming between a couple of defenders.

But Louis Fenton tapped in to make it 2-1 with 66 on the clock and Jaushua Sotirio - released by the lively Ulises Davila - showed great composure to seal the win and boost the Phoenix's outside chances of reaching the Finals.

Lleyton Brooks scored his first A-League goal as Melbourne Victory ended their winless streak with a 2-1 comeback triumph over Newcastle Jets.

Brooks came on from the bench on the hour to make his third A-League appearance and it was the 20-year-old who proved decisive when he lashed home in the 79th minute.

Apostolos Stamatelopoulos put fellow strugglers Newcastle ahead, but Dylan Ryan restored parity early in the second half.

The win, after a run of six without one, lifts 12th-placed Victory onto 11 points, level with the Jets, though Melbourne have a game in hand.

Meanwhile, Victory's rivals Melbourne City forged a comeback of their own, with Jamie Maclaren's 98th-minute penalty sealing a share of the spoils against Sydney FC.

Sydney looked set to leapfrog City and move into second thanks to Kosta Barbarouses' 54th-minute opener.

Yet A-League's leading scorer Maclaren had other ideas. Sydney captain Alex Wilkinson fouled Marco Tilio, playing against his former side, and City's marksman stepped up to convert from 12 yards.

Maclaren is now on 14 A-League goals for the season and 93 outright in the competition, taking the 27-year-old into second place on the all-time top scorers list, behind only Besart Berisha (141).

City could have snatched a win moments later, but Stefan Colakovski's effort was kept out by Andrew Redmayne.

In Saturday's late game, Adelaide United failed to return to winning ways as they were held to a 1-1 draw by the 10 men of Western Sydney Wanderers.

Sydney FC continued their dominance against Perth Glory as Kosta Barbarouses' second-half goal clinched a 1-0 win at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Perth made the trip having triumphed in just one of the previous 16 A-League meetings between the teams, while they had recorded a solitary win in their last seven outings this season.

The visitors did keep Sydney at bay during the first half, only to concede nine minutes after the break when Barbarouses' low shot from Alexander Baumjohann's throughball slipped beyond Liam Reddy.

The manner of the goal was tough on the Glory goalkeeper, who made nine saves in total. The pick of the bunch was a low effort by his right post in the opening half, as a strong hand at full stretch made sure Bobo's header did not sneak into the net.

Sydney had 24 shots in total in the game – 16 of which came in the second half – but one goal was enough to secure the points, the victory lifting them up to fourth in the standings.

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