SYDNEY (AP) -- Nigerian-born striker Bernie Ibini's goal in the final minute gave the Central Coast Mariners a 2-1 win over Western Sydney, and a one-point lead over the Wanderers for second place in the A-League with two rounds remaining.
A top-two finish will give the Mariners a bye in the first round of the playoffs and an Asian Champions League spot next year.
Joshua Rose gave the Mariners the lead in the 32nd minute before Nikolai Topor-Stanley leveled in the 40th.
Mariners coach Phil Moss said the defending champions were peaking at the right time of the season.
"I think tonight we made a statement that we're here and we're here for keeps," he said. "There were a couple of questions thrown up about what sort of class we had and I thought we answered that."
The Brisbane Roar, which clinched first place last weekend, beat the Melbourne Heart 2-1 with 10 men.
Striker Besart Berisha was sent off in the 49th minute for a straight red card after sliding into Heart goalkeeper Tando Velaphi and hitting him in the head. Brazilian Henrique scored the winner for Brisbane from Matt McKay's cross in the 73rd minute.
Socceroos' World Cup hopeful James Troisi notched the equalizer as Melbourne Victory drew 1-1 with Sydney FC. Striker Joel Chianese opened the scoring for Sydney in the 48th minute.
On Sunday, Wellington hosts Adelaide in the New Zealand capital and Newcastle travels to Western Australia to play the Perth Glory.