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Victory win 5th in a row, close in on Sydney FC at top

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/01/2017

SYDNEY — The Melbourne Victory won its fifth match in a row, defeating Adelaide United 2-0 to move to within four points of first-placed Sydney FC in the A-League.

James Troisi scored in the 22nd minute Saturday to put the Victory ahead, and Albanian striker Besart Berish clinched the match in the 68th with an assist from Troisi.

Sydney FC will attempt to extend its season-long unbeaten streak — and restore its seven-point advantage — when it plays at Central Coast on Sunday to conclude the 14th round. The league leaders have 10 wins and three draws.

Elsewhere around the league:

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MELBOURNE CITY 1, WESTERN SYDNEY 0

Socceroo right back Ivan Franjic scored the only goal from a dipping volley in the 19th minute to move City into third place, 10 points behind Sydney.

Western Sydney was reduced to 10 men from the 30th minute when Artiz Borda was sent off for an elbow to the head of City striker Bruno Fornaroli.

It was the first match in charge for City interim coach Michael Valkanis, who took over from former Dutch international John van't Schip. Van't Schip quit the club last week to return to the Netherlands to contribute to the palliative care of his father.

"It's a tough week," Valkanis said. "Someone that's been here for a very long time and has been a part of the club shocked us with the news he was resigning. This win was a little bit for John as well."

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BRISBANE 2, NEWCASTLE 3

Danish import Morten Nordstrand scored the winner in the 84th minute in the Jets' upset win in which the lead changed hands three times. The Road had leveled just two minutes earlier on Jamie Maclaren's penalty.

The win moved the Jets into the top six while Brisbane remains in fourth place, 12 points behind leading Sydney. It was the Roar's first home loss in nearly a year.

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PERTH 2, WELLINGTON 1

Perth ended a six-game winless run, beating 10-man Wellington. The Glory had not won since a home 3-1 decision over Adelaide United on Nov. 18. Perth, after falling behind on Roy Krishna's 11th-minute goal for the Phoenix, leveled on captain Rostyn Griffiths' goal on halftime, and Adam Taggart scored the winner to open the second half.

Wellington was reduced to 10 men in the 60th minute following a straight red card from referee Shaun Evans to Krishna for a challenge on Shane Lowry.

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