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A-League winners and losers: Red cards flow as Brosque winds back the clock

9:52 AM GMT+8 07/01/2019
A-League split
Send offs were the feature of Round 11 as a number of players lost their heads and cost their teams

Four of five A-League games saw players sent off over the weekend as two struggling sides squandered precious leads in the process.

Kalifa Cisse will be lucky to play again for Central Coast Mariners, while Daniel Bowles cost Brisbane Roar dearly with his second-half brain snap.

Aside from the red card drama, Alex Brosque defied his age with a 15-minute hat-trick and Kevin Muscat patched Melbourne Victory together for a potentially undeserved win.

Read on to see all our winners and losers from Round 11...

  • Alex Brosque

    Winner: Alex Brosque

    He was close to retirement last season and was only meant to be used off the bench under Steve Corica, but Alex Brosque has once again stepped up when Sydney FC needed him to. 

    Trailing against a ten-man Mariners, Brosque kick-started his side's comeback with delightful flicked finish before securing a 15-minute hat-trick early in the second-half.

    The quick-fire treble ensured the Sky Blues didn't slip up and proved Brosque still packs one hell of a punch.

    His first career hat-trick, the Sydney FC veteran has defied his age multiple times this season with strong performances and Corica will be grateful to have the reliable attacker to call on. 

  • Kalifa Cisse

    Loser: Kalifa Cisse

    As a Sky Blues veteran stepped up, the Mariners' Kalifa Cisse cost his side dearly after he picked up two quick yellow cards in the first-half.

    With Central Coast dominating Sydney FC early, the defender lost his head and cost his side what could have been their first win in over 300 days.

    To make matters worse, Cisse got in a verbal altercation with Mariners coaching staff as both parties showed just how tough times are for the club.

    The experienced defender will now spend at least one match on the sidelines, but it's hard to see Mike Mulvey rushing him back into his side anytime soon. 

  • Kevin Muscat Melbourne Victory

    Winner: Kevin Muscat

    With Keisuke Honda sidelined and Georg Niedermeier stuck on the bench, Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat had to patch together his side against the Wanderers and somehow walked away a winner.

    While Western Sydney dominated for large patches, they struggled to find a way past Lawrence Thomas as James Troisi and Ola Toivonen twice combined to hand Victory all three points.

    The introduction of Raul Baena in the 82nd minute proved decisive with the Spaniard laying on an exquisite pass for Troisi, who then fed the ball through to Toivonen for the winner. 

    A make-shift centre-back pairing of Thomas Deng and Leigh Broxham also delivered for Muscat as Victory found a way to avoid three straight draws. 

  • Mandi Wellington

    Loser: Adelaide's attack

    The Reds' front-third frustrations have reached fever pitch as they failed to find a way past a 10-man Wellington Phoenix side on Saturday.

    Adelaide had a stunning 32 shots against the Nix but only got seven of those on target with nine shots also blocked by a desperate Wellington back line.

    Having started without a recognised striker, George Blackwood did make his return from injury late in the game but failed to fire and doesn't appear to be the man that will answer the Reds' goal-scoring woes.

    With Baba Diawara still injured, Adelaide simply need to add some firepower in January as they look to keep touch with the top four. 

  • Tony Popovic

    Winner: Tony Popovic

    While Perth Glory's comeback owed a lot to Daniel Bowles' reckless red card, Tony Popovic's subsequent changes ensured his side completed a convincing turn around.

    Just minutes after the send off, Diego Castro and Ivan Franjic were introduced before Brendon Santalab replaced Alex Grant as Glory went in for the kill.

    The changes proved decisive with Brendon Santalab winning Perth's second penalty as Popovic's men overwhelmed a depleted Roar side.

    As Popovic made the right calls, Darren Davies' decision to introduce young defender Aaron Reardon backfired with the rookie conceding a penalty and an own goal. 

    Both incidents were beyond Reardon's control but it's an experience that will take some getting over for the youngster. 

  • Jason Hoffman Newcastle Jets

    Loser: Jets' penalty pain

    Newcastle copped a fourth penalty against them this season on Sunday as Melbourne City scraped to a 2-1 win.

    While there was no doubt over the spot-kick, the Jets are themselves yet to receive one of their own this season and coach Ernie Merrick is starting to feel there is a bias against them.

    "We've had four penalties against. I think the referee's director, if that's what you call him, has come out and said two of them we didn't deserve," Merrick said post-match.

    "We've never received a penalty. We might have been able to get two or three today but we don't expect to get penalties anymore.

    "We just have to defend them really."

    Reduced to 10 men against City, the Jets showed real spirit to almost fight back at AAMI Park but continue to look frustrated in front of goal.