Western Sydney Wanderers made history this weekend without even kicking a ball in the Hyundai A-League.
The Wanderers drew their second leg of the Asian Champions League Final 0-0 in Saudi Arabia against Al Hilal to record a 1-0 aggregate victory to become the first Australian side to win the competition.
Tomi Juric’s first leg goal back in Sydney gave the Wanderers something to hold on to as they battled and, sometimes rode their luck, against Al Hilal passionate and expecting capacity crowd.
Despite the gulf in wealth and stature, Tony Popovic’s side of A-League cast offs and young guns fought against laser pens, spitting and a head-butt to earn a place amongst the World’s elite at next year’s World Club Championships in Morocco.
Al Hilal on the other hand can feel aggrieved by the decisions not to award them at least one penalty as two genuine claims were waved away.
And had it not been for the heroics of Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic, who may have been lucky not to have conceded a penalty, the home side may well have got the victory that the 65,000 strong crowd had been told they would get by coach Laurentiu Reghecampf.
Despite a poor start in the Hyundai A-League, Wanderers have made history winning the ACL and with that, may have laid a foundation for more success for Australian sides in the Champions League.
Elsewhere and closer to home, Sydney FC continue to do their part in making the City proud by going joint top of the Hyundai A-League ladder thanks to a 2-0 victory over the Central Coast Mariners.
The Allianz crowd saw two first half goals, with a bullet from Terry Antonis to open the scoring, as the Sky Blues equaled their best start to a season since 2009/10, when they won the competition.
The score line could have been closer but Mitchell Duke was unable to convert his last minute penalty for the Mariners.
Adelaide are joint top of the league, a position they moved into on Friday night thanks to a hard fought victory at Melbourne City.
The hosts had led through an early Patrick Kisnorbo goal before Bruce Djite squared the game before the interval. David Villa, in what looks set to be his last match for City nearing put his side back in front with a tremendous solo run that just lacked the finish it deserved.
Instead, Marcelo Carrusca’s late penalty sealed the three points for the away side leaving the home fans still searching for their first win.
Perth Glory remain hot on the heels of the leaders as they came out victorious over Newcastle Jets thanks to a double from substitute Jamie Maclaren, in what looked like a certain stalemate at Nib Stadium.
The crowd had to wait till the 74th minute to see a goal, and it was one they were not expecting when Argentine Jeronimo smashed the visitors in front, although Glory’s keeper Danny Vukovic will think he should have done better.
Glory rallied and a minute after entering the field, Maclaren hammered home the equaliser before grabbing the winner ten minutes from time as he nodded home in the six-yard box.
Despite missing several key players, Melbourne Victory lead the way on goal difference thanks to a 2-0 victory over Wellington Phoenix on Monday night.
With Adrian Leijer and Daniel Georgievski suspended and Matthieu Delpierre and Besart Berisha injured, the visitors from New Zealand appeared in with a chance of registering their first away win over the Big V in the A-League.
But goals from Guilherme Finkler and substitute Connor Pain gave victory the points in front of a packed crowd at AAMI Park.