Glory days as Strikers stun Sharks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Glory days as Strikers stun Sharks

By Guy Hand 12/01/2003 10:06:35 PM Comments (0)

Perth Glory has taken the whip hand in the national soccer league championship chase after the resurgent Brisbane Strikers stunned reigning champions Olympic Sharks at the weekend.

While Perth beat fourth-placed Newcastle United 1-0 at Newcastle on Friday night, the Strikers stretched their unbeaten run to seven games by upsetting the Sharks 3-0 at Ballymore on Saturday.

That allowed the Glory to leapfrog the Sharks at the top of the table, with Perth striker Nick Mrdja's winner in the opening minute putting his side in the box seat for the six bonus points for the finals series given to the team which tops the regular season table.

But the Strikers, who were bottom of the table at the end of November, are emerging as the NSL's form team in the run-in to the 10-week playoff series which starts in March.

Two second half goals in four minutes to Steve Laybutt and Josh Rose sunk the Sharks, before Anthony Roche added a third for Brisbane to move it to the fringe of the top six.

Marconi rebounded from the midweek sacking of coach Raul Blanco to thump the free-falling Melbourne Knights 4-1 at Marconi Stadium.

The victory lifts the Stallions off the bottom of the NSL table, with Northern Spirit propping up the ladder after a 1-0 loss to third-placed South Melbourne at Bob Jane Stadium.

South is now seven points behind second-placed Olympic with a game in hand and faces a stern test of its championship credentials next Saturday against Perth in Perth.

"It's going to be the turning point of the season as to whether we can catch the top two," South coach Danny Wright said.

"Our boys are all looking forward to it especially after winning here.

"It's going to be hard, but these are the games you've got to win if you're chasing championships."

The Football Kingz scored their first goal in nearly six hours of soccer in their 1-1 draw with Wollongong in Auckland on Friday night.

In an often fiery and physical match, Wolves coach Ron Corry was sent off after remonstrating with a linesman over an offside call while midfielder Dino Mennillo was red-carded for dissent.

Parramatta Power snatched a 1-1 draw with Adelaide City at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday night in the weekend's other match to stay in sixth spot.

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