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Melbourne Victory beats Brisbane 1-0 to move 3 points clear at the top of A-League


SYDNEY — The Melbourne Victory moved three points clear at the top of Australia's A-League with a 1-0 win Saturday over defending champion Brisbane in the penultimate regular-season round.

Mark Milligan's goal on a first-half penalty gave the Victory the win over the Roar at Brisbane. The result left second-place Sydney FC with the only chance of overtaking the Victory in the final round next weekend.

The Victory have 50 points, Sydney 47, Wellington 46, Perth 44 and Adelaide 43. Perth has been banned from post-season play and will be placed seventh due to salary cap violations, allowing the current seventh-place team, Brisbane, to make the playoffs.

Earlier Saturday, Asian champion Western Sydney Wanderers, with no chance of making the playoffs, ended Adelaide United's top-two ambitions with a 2-1 win. Striker Mark Bridge scored the 73rd-minute winner for the Wanderers in his 200th A-League match.

On Friday, Sydney FC kept pace with a 4-3 win over Newcastle and Wellington did the same with a 3-2 win over Central Coast.

Sydney took a 3-1 lead, grabbing three goals in eight minutes in the second half, with Alex Brosque scoring twice and Bernie Ibini once in that span.

"These boys have all the confidence in themselves that they've got an extra gear," Sydney coach Graham Arnold said.

Kenny Cunningham scored the winner for Wellington in the fifth minute of stoppage time, his second of the game after leveling the match for the Phoenix in the 79th. Central Coast led 2-0 at halftime.

In the final match of the round on Sunday, fifth-place Melbourne City plays the Glory at Perth.

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