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Sydney FC beats Wellington 3-1 as A-League restarts season

July 17, 2020 GMT

SYDNEY (AP) — Substitute Trent Buhagiar scored twice, including the go-ahead goal into a near-empty net with two minutes remaining, to give first-place Sydney FC a 3-1 win Friday over the Wellington Phoenix as the A-League resumed its season after a coronavirus-forced shutdown.

Buhagiar made it 2-1 when slipped past Phoenix goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic, who had raced out of his area in an attempt to intercept the pass, before putting the ball past a solo defender from about 20 meters out. Buhagiar scored again two minutes later to clinch the match for the Sky Blues.

Wellington took the lead through a 66th-minute penalty from Reno Piscopo before Adam Le Fondre leveled for Sydney 10 minutes later, also on a penalty.

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Sydney leads the standings with 33 points, 11 ahead of second-place Melbourne City, who have played two more matches than Sydney.

All teams had played at least 20 matches of the regular season when the league was halted in March. There are 26 regular-season matches to be played, followed by playoffs.

League officials hope the A-League champion will be determined by the end of August. They will use six venues — five in New South Wales state and one in Brisbane.

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