10 Mar 2014

Roar hold big lead but A-League marred by race claims

6:54 am on 10 March 2014

Albanian footballer Besart Berisha scored a double at Suncorp Stadium as the Brisbane Roar all but wrapped up the A-League's premier's plate with a 2-1 defeat of Adelaide United on Sunday.

Berisha's brace puts the Roar 10 points clear of second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers at the top of the table with just five rounds to play.

And Western Sydney, the A-League's most multi-cultural club, now face major battles on two fronts - as well as fighting to hold onto second place, the Wanderers are being accused of racial abuse.

One of their players is alleged to have villified Sydney FC's Iraq-born Australian player Ali Abbas in Saturday night's 3-1 loss to the Sky Blues.

The defeat was compounded by confirmation on Sunday that Football Federation Australia will launch an investigation.

The Players Football Association is also poised to investigate the incident from the heated derby clash once Sydney FC formerly lodge their official complaint on Monday.

Sydney FC's comeback victory, sparked by a penalty save from goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic, has thrust Frank Farina's team into fourth place on 31 points, just one win behind their arch-rivals.

Melbourne Victory (33) are back in the hunt for second place after shrugging off last week's 4-0 thumping by arch-rivals Melbourne Heart with a crucial 3-1 win over Central Coast (30).

Golden boot contender Adam Taggart fired Newcastle (29) to within one point of the top six with a 1-0 upset of the resurgent Heart.

The Wellington Phoenix (27) continued last-placed Perth Glory's frustrations with a late equaliser at Westpac Stadium for a 1-1 draw.