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A-League Winners and Losers: Port Macquarie Pele and a disgraceful SCG

8:17 AM SGT 8/4/19
Terry Antonis Melbourne Victory SCG
A Newcastle Jets' local hero stepped up on a weekend marred by a shocking pitch

If 19-year-old Angus Thurgate was the hero of the weekend, the SCG was a villain Australian football fans won't be forgiving anytime soon.

The shambolic pitch spoiled what somehow remained a fairly entertaining Big Blue as Sydney FC took a big step towards securing second spot.

Elsewhere, an Adelaide United attacker overshadowed what was a promising performance with a moment of madness. 

Check out all the weekend's winners and losers below...

  • Melbourne City

    Winner: City's attack steps up

    Having looked lethargic all season, Melbourne City's frontline found a vital spring its step on Friday night in a 4-1 win against Brisbane Roar.

    Three of their four goals were the result of quality finishes, while their first came after a brilliant free-kick from Florin Berenguer.

    The Frenchman delivered one of his best games in a City shirt to date and showed he could be the player to add some fluidity to Warren Joyce's attack. 

    With a Socceroo leading their line, there's no doubt City have the players capable of delivering in the final third and this performance will give them some much-need attacking confidence. 

  • Vedran Janjetovic Wanderers

    Loser: Vedran Janjetovic

    Another game, another howler from the Western Sydney Wanderers shot-stopper.

    With his side leading 2-1, Vedran Janjetovic failed to deal with a Dimitri Petratos corner, which sailed straight into the goal.

    Though not quite as bad as previous errors he's made this season, the mistake was another costly one for the Wanderers, who ended up losing the game 3-2.

    After the season Janjetovic has had, you wouldn't blame Markus Babbel for looking for another number one over the off-season.  

  • Angus Thurgate Newcastle Jets

    Winner: Angus Thurgate

    After Janjetovic's error on Saturday, it was teenager Angus Thurgate that stepped up to hand the Jets a vital three points.

    The 19-year-old local product, affectionately known as 'The Port Macquarie Pele', bagged his first A-League goal in clinical fashion as he curled the ball home late in the game.

    Thurgate was introduced in the second half and joined fellow young gun Joey Champness on the pitch, with Ernie Merrick stressing the club's determination to give youth a chance.

    "Now that we are going to struggle to make the finals, it's time to give some of these boys a run," Merrick said post-game.

    "Next year they could play a major part.

    "Gus is putting up his hand to start as well and Ivan. It is time to give some youngsters an opportunity."

  • SCG

    Loser: SCG

    "It was a disgrace. Football's gone back 20 years tonight."

    That was Kevin Muscat's assessment of the SCG pitch on Saturday and for once, if anything, the Melbourne Victory coach's assessment was relatively measured.

    The SCG surface was simply shocking and summed up how football is treated as a sport in this country.

    One of the A-League's biggest games forced to play on a cricket pitch that had held a Super Rugby and NRL match in the week prior. 

    It simply wasn't good enough and Terry Antonis' injury has emphasised just how serious the situation is.

    Word is Sydney FC will be moving their next scheduled match at the venue elsewhere and it's safe to say the A-League shouldn't be playing again at the SCG anytime soon. 

  • Marco Kurz Adelaide United

    Winner: Reds find but quickly lose a goal scorer

    With finals fast approaching, Adelaide United appear to have finally found a goal scorer in the form of Apostolos Stamatelopoulos.

    The 19-year-old bagged a first-half double against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday and looked like he could answer the Reds' shortcomings in front of goal.

    Unfortunately for him and a furious Marco Kurz, Stamatelopoulos picked up a red card just before half-time as he left Adelaide scrambling as they held on for a 3-1 win.

    While a bad mistake and now set to spend at least one match on the sidelines, the young attacker looms as the Reds best man to lead the line heading into finals.

    With Baba Diawara still finding fitness and his replacement Jordy Thomassen failing to impress, Kurz will have to forgive Stamatelopoulos quickly with the Western United-bound striker looming as his best bet in front of goal. 

  • Central Coast Mariners stadium

    Loser: Crowds

    The final match of the round saw just 3,939 turn up at Gosford as the Mariners lost 3-0 to Perth Glory - though it looked like a fair few less. 

    Played at 7pm on a Sunday night and with Central Coast never expected to test the league leaders, the second lowest A-League crowd of the season  may not have been surprising but it was a sad sight. 

    It compounded a poor weekend in the stands with Melbourne City drawing in just 5,012 at AAMI Park and only 14,155 turning up at the SCG for the Big Blue - the fourth smallest crowd in that fixture's history. 

    Finals and expansion clearly can't come soon enough for the A-League with fans tiring of the same old stories.