Melbourne Victory overcame a major hurdle in their fledgling title bid, beating Wellington Phoenix 2-0 despite missing several key men.
Kevin Muscat's side were involved in a bruising FFA Cup defeat to Perth Glory on Wednesday, leaving them without the injured Besart Berisha and Matthieu Delpierre, and suspended duo Adrian Leijer and Daniel Georgievski.
But the hosts shrugged off the absence of those players as goals from Guilherme Finkler and substitute Connor Pain put a team coached by former Victory boss Ernie Merrick to the sword on Monday.
The opening goal arrived in the 26th minute when Finkler swung in a dangerous free-kick which goalkeeper Glen Moss decided not to come for, allowing the ball to find the corner of his net.
And Victory got the two-goal cushion their dominance deserved courtesy of Pain's cool finish from Archie Thompson's pass, with the scorer having been introduced just a minute earlier.
Muscat's men now sit top on goal difference, with Sydney and Adelaide United also on 10 points.comments