Central Coast, Brisbane down to wire for 1st place


SYDNEY (AP) -- Central Coast and Brisbane each won their penultimate matches in Australia's A-League on Saturday, ensuring first place would be decided in the 27th and final round of the regular season next weekend.

Bernie Ibini scored his sixth goal of the season in a 1-0 Mariners victory over Adelaide United while Brisbane beat Newcastle 2-1. The first-place Mariners lead the Roar by two points.

The Melbourne Heart and Sydney FC drew 2-2, guaranteeing the Heart a playoff spot, while out-of-contract Costa Rican striker Carlos Hernandez scored a long-range goal in the 11th minute to start the Melbourne Victory's 3-0 rout of the Wellington Phoenix on Friday.

In the final match of the round Sunday, last-place Gold Coast United hosted Perth.