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Berisha scores 100th goal in eventful A-League final round

Associated Press logo Associated Press 16/04/2017

SYDNEY — The A-League concluded its regular season Sunday in an eventful final round in which Besart Berisha became the league's first 100-goal scorer, Sydney FC set a competition point-scoring record and the last-place team in the competition — the Newcastle Jets — fired its coach.

Berisha's 80th-minute strike gave the Melbourne Victory a 1-0 win over Central Coast. The Kosovo international scored after taking Jai Ingham's cutback pass in the match at Melbourne.

The Victory had already clinched second place in the standings and will have a home semifinal in two weeks.

Berisha scored 48 goals with Brisbane over three seasons and 52 with the Victory during the same period.

"What an achievement, I don't think we can or should underestimate it," Victory coach Kevin Muscat said.

First-place Sydney FC beat Newcastle 2-0. The win took Sydney to 66 points from 27 games, one point better than the previous mark of 65 set by Brisbane in 2010-11 over a 30-game season.

On Sunday, Brett Holman scored two goals to lead the Brisbane Roar to a 4-3 win over the Wellington Phoenix while the Perth Glory beat Melbourne City 5-4 in a match that featured seven second-half goals — the teams were level 1-1 at halftime.

Also on Sunday, Mark Jones was fired as coach of the Jets, which finished last of 10 teams this season, losing their last six games and failing to win any of their last 10.

Jones, who was appointed to the position in September, will be temporarily replaced by assistant coach Clayton Zane while Newcastle team owners look for a fulltime coach for next season.

In the six-team playoffs, Sydney and the Victory received first-round byes.

Brisbane finished in third place, Melbourne City in fourth, Perth in fifth and the Western Sydney Wanderers in sixth.

Next weekend in elimination matches, Brisbane hosts Western Sydney on Friday while Melbourne City has a rematch with Perth in Melbourne on Sunday.

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