Goals by Jean Carlos Solorzano and James Meyer gave Brisbane its 16th win of the season and took it past Apia-Leichardt’s record unbeaten streak of 22 matches in 1986-87 in the Australian national league.
Brisbane’s only loss of the season came against the Melbourne Victory on Sept. 12 and coach Ange Postecoglou said his team’s bid for the premiership and league titles was probably unstoppable.
Second-placed Central Coast beat third-placed Adelaide 2-1 on Saturday to delay Brisbane’s accession to the minor premiership. Had Central Coast lost or been held to a draw, the title would have been Brisbane’s but the Mariners’ win left them nine points behind Brisbane and with an arithmetical chance of tying the lead with three rounds remaining.
Postecoglou was confident his team’s form would prevent that.
“The way these players are going, I don’t see anything stopping them at the moment,” Postecoglou said. “We’ve had a few challenges in these last few weeks and the boys haven’t missed a beat.
“I’m super proud of them. I just think these players have been brilliant.”
Central Coast moved four points clear of third-placed Adelaide with its win on Saturday but coach Graham Arnold said it couldn’t yet call second place its own. Second place also carries an Asian Champions League place but Arnold said his team hadn’t yet secured that reward.
“The players have got the mentality to go forward and go on,” he said. “We can’t take our foot off the pedal because anything can happen with three games to go.”
Patricio Perez scored Central Coast’s first goal and set up the second for Joshua Rose to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead at halftime. Adelaide’s Travis Dodd pulled back a consolation goal in the 91st minute.
“We are actually a little bit upset about conceding the goal because the boys strive to have a clean sheet every week and to concede in the last 30, 45 seconds, they’re not happy about that,” Arnold said.
Nick Carle scored his first goal of the season and Bruno Cazarine added a second as defending champion Sydney FC kept its faint playoffs hope alive with a 2-0 win over Perth. The win left Sydney six points adrift of the sixth-placed Wellington Phoenix but with three teams between itself and a top-six finish.
“We know our situation, it’s not easy in this moment for us,” coach Vitezslav Lavicka said. “But mathematically we still have a chance to reach finals, we still have motivation.
“We know we have tough games away but if we keep this effort, this unity, I think still in with a chance.”
Wellington beat Newcastle 1-0 to lift itself to sixth place and to keep its playoff chances alive. Dylan McAlister scored in the 20th minute to give Wellington its 10th win of the season and to extend Newcastle’s losing streak to six games.
Referee Chris Beath handed out six yellow cards and a red card in a scrappy and often ill-tempered match.
Danny Allsopp scored in the 28th and 57th minutes as the Melbourne Victory beat Gold Coast 2-0 to consolidate their top six position.
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