SYDNEY (AP) — Central Coast recaptured its championship-winning form with a 3-0 win over Newcastle that lifted it briefly into second place in the A-League.
First-half goals to Daniel McBreen, Matt Simon and Anthony Caceras allowed Central Coast to maintain its dominance of derby contests against their New South Wales state rivals, who haven't won on the Mariners' home ground at Gosford in nine matches since 2008.
The Western Sydney Wanderers, Central Coast's beaten rivals in last year's grand final, moved back into second place with a 3-1 win over Perth in the last match of the 16th round on Sunday.
Brisbane remained clear atop the league table after its 2-1 win over Wellington on Friday.
Adelaide needed a 90th-minute goal from Ryan Griffiths to snatch a 2-2 draw with the last-place Melbourne Heart that kept it inside the top-six playoffs zone.
Italian standout Alessandro Del Piero scored twice as Sydney FC beat the Melbourne Victory 5-0 to vault the Victory into fourth place. Melbourne also lost 5-0 to Wellington in its previous match.
Central Coast posted its sixth win of the season and stretched its unbeaten run to five matches with Saturday's emphatic home win over Newcastle, which was playing its first match under new coach Clayton Zane.
Caceras opened the scoring with a brilliant goal in the 13th minute, breaking from halfway, beating two defenders then driving home a shot from 25 meters.
McBreen scored in the 31st with a curling shot into the top corner, and Simon added the third just before halftime, heading home Mile Sterjovski's corner.