Socceroos in the A-League: Duke strikes during game of the season contender

A number of Socceroos and Australia U-23's played their part in a weekend of A-League action headlined by Melbourne Victory's epic 5-4 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night. 

Missed the action? Catch up on all of the extended highlights below. 

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Melbourne Victory 5-4 Western Sydney Wanderers

A spirited late fightback and Mitchell Duke goal wasn't enough for Western Sydney as Melbourne Victory recorded an unforgettable 5-4 win at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.

Victory led 5-1 in the second half before the Wanderers reduced the gap from four goals to one leading into added time, but couldn't convert from a pair of promising opportunities in the final knockings to steal a share of the points.

Ben Folami scored a brace in a lively first-half showing for the home side, converting on either side of goals to Storm Roux and Wanderers midfielder James Troisi to hand Victory a 3-1 lead heading into the break.

A see-sawing second 45 ensued, with Victory defender Dylan Ryan opening the gap to three goals with a headed goal from a corner routine given to the home side after Daniel Margush saved a penalty struck by Jake Brimmer in the 62nd minute of play.


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Ten minutes later the margin was four after Jacob Butterfield lashed a left-footed strike from well outside the box past Margush to make it 5-1 - the attempt was hit with venom and precision as the ball ducked and weaved through the air on its way toward the back of the net. 

All that was left for Victory to do was to see out the final 15 minutes of play to wrap up a commanding home win. But as we've seen to date this season, things don't come that easy for the side in Navy Blue.

Graham Dorrans pegged one back from the penalty spot after Robbie Kruse's handball in the box. Mitchell Duke then headed his side back into contention, before Nicolai Müller emerged from the bench to drill a shot from outside the box into the top-right corner of goal.

Suddenly the score was 5-4, setting up a nerve-jangling finish for the home side. Bruce Kamau found himself in a dangerous position to shoot in the 94th-minute of play, but his strike flew high over the bar. The Victory players and fans alike took a deep, relieving sigh as the final whistle blew, handing Kean and his charges a hard-earned win in the first game of the club's newest chapter.

Mini Match: Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers

Central Coast Mariners 2-2 Sydney FC

Trent Buhagiar came back to haunt Central Coast Mariners by scoring a late equaliser as Sydney FC came from two goals down to draw 2-2 on Saturday night. 

The former Mariners speedster pounced on a giveaway from Kye Rowles before slotting away Kosta Barbarouses' cutback to seal an impressive turnaround from the reigning champions. 

Before shooting themselves in the foot, it looked as though the Mariners were going to pass another huge test in their unlikely premiership tilt.

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Quickfire strikes from Mariners front pairing Marco Urena and Matt Simon catapulted Alen Stajcic's side into a 2-0 lead that was halved by Milos Ninkovic's lovely finish in first half stoppage time. 

Sydney held large stretches of attacking possession in the second half and saw Bobo's effort chalked off for offside before Buhagiar made Rowles pay for an uncharacteristic mistake.

Patrick Wood and Daniel De Silva had late chances to net a winner but the late slip from Alen Stajcic's men spurns the opportunity to nab their first back to back wins over Sydney FC in seven years, as the former Westfield Matildas' boss' 50th game in charge of the resurgent Mariners fizzled out to a disappointing end. 

Despite this the Mariners are still second on the table but could lost that standing if Adelaide United beat Wellington Phoenix tomorrow.

Sydney FC are fourth prior to fifth-placed Macarthur hosting ladder leaders Melbourne City later tonight.

Mini Match: Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC

Macarthur FC 1-1 Melbourne City 

Melbourne City missed the chance to cement lead of the A-League after Macarthur youngster Michael Ruhs capitalised on a late mistake from Patrick Kisnorbo's side to secure a 1-1 draw in Campbelltown.

Competition leaders City took a deserved lead when Connor Metcalfe volleyed past Adam Federici after a sweeping Bulls' move involving Jamie Maclaren and Craig Noone. 

But City failed to add a killer second and were punished for failing to do so when Ruhs pounced on a mishap between Marco Tilio and Kerrin Stokes to score his first A-League goal late on.

Mini Match: Macarthur FC v Melbourne City