FIFA.com’s weekly review of leagues across Asia/Oceania casts an eye from west Asia to Australia at the far eastern end of the continent, as well as skipping across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand. The weekend action saw frontrunners in Australia, Iran, Jordan and New Zealand continue to enjoy the view from the top. Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia the picture is far from clear where a top-of-the-table clash resulted in a logjam with just two points separating the top four.
Australia A-League: Status quo at the summit
The three leading teams each won with Brisbane Roar maintaining a seven-point margin at the top thanks to a 1-0 win at Sydney FC. Adelaide United remain second after cruising to a 2-0 home triumph over bottom-side North Queensland Fury, though the Reds have two games up their sleeve. Third-placed Gold Coast United sit a further four points back after a goal in each half was enough to see off New Zealand visitors Wellington Phoenix.
Big game: Australia’s only intra-city derby between Melbourne clubs Victory and Heart is fast becoming the league’s keenest rivalry, with the former triumphing to leapfrog their opponents into fifth. Victory recovered from conceding an early goal with Robbie Kruse’s double helping the two-time champions to a 3-1 win.
Headline-grabber: New Zealand striker Kosta Barbarouses has continued his fine form with the only goal of the game as leaders Brisbane Roar extended their unbeaten run to 16 matches. A stand-by player for the All Whites’ 2010 FIFA World Cup™ squad, Barbarouses has enjoyed a breakthrough season with his goal taking him third on the league's goalscoring charts.
Saudi Arabia Professional League: Al Nasr climb to the top
Al Nasr climbed to the top of the Saudi Arabia Professional League standings with a resounding 6-1 win against Najran, thanks to a brace from Ryan Belal who extended his season scoring tally to seven. The victory saw the new leaders two points clear of defending champions Al Hilal, who slipped to fourth after throwing away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Al Taawon.
Big game: Al Ittihad extended their unbeaten run to 13 matches after drawing 2-2 at Al Ittifaq. In a fierce battle during which the hosts were reduced to nine men, the visitors went ahead on 56 minutes courtesy of their Portuguese midfielder Paulo Jorge but Saleh Bashir soon struck to draw the home side level. Ittifaq looked on course for victory after taking the lead six minutes from time but Ittihad escaped defeat with Osama Al Moaled on target deep into the injury time. Ittihad missing out on top spot only on goal difference while Ittifaq sit one point off the pace.
Headline-grabber: Moroccan striker Jawad Akadar scored a double as his side Al Raed battled from two goals down to draw 2-2 against Al Shabab at home. Two goals inside 18 minutes courtesy of Juan Manuel Olivera and Abdu Ateef gave the visitors a comfortable lead but the second half belonged to the hosts, with Akadar pulling one back after the interval before striking on the stroke of the hour-mark to seal a point.
Iran Pro League: Little margin for error
There were no major changes in the Iranian Pro League with six out of the nine matches ending in parity. At the top of the standings, pacesetters Zob Ahan was held to a goalless draw at Peykan but still maintained pole position. The 2010 AFC Champions League finalists remaining two points clear of Esteghlal who shared the spoils against lowly Shardari Tabriz with the same scoreline.
Big game: Defending champions Sepahan moved into fourth after drawing 2-2 against Rah Ahan at home. The visitors opened the scoring courtesy of Amin Motevaselzadeh just after the quarter-hour mark but Jalal Hosseini drew the hosts level following the restart. Bahador Abdi may have restored the one-goal lead on 71 minutes but their joy lasted just three minutes as Mohsen Bengar struck to secure a point for Sepahan. Despite trailing behind Zob Ahan by six points, Sepahan remain very much in the hunt to retain their title as they have two games in hand.
Headline-grabber: Nine-time champions Persepolis continued their recent poor form, this time suffering a 1-0 defeat at Teraktor Sazi - their fourth loss in a row. Karrar Jassim Mohammed scored the only goal to move his side into the top five while Persepolis slipped into seventh after the defeat.
Al Wahdat cemented their place as the Jordan Pro League leaders after winning the top-of-the-table meeting with the defending champions Al Faisaly 1-0 on Friday. With the hard-fought triumph the high-flying Al Wahdat are now eight points of their nearest rivals Al Faisaly, who suffered just their second defeat of the season.
Waitakere United’s perfect start to the New Zealand Football Championship season has continued unabated with the Aucklanders 3-1 victors at Waikato to hold an eight-point lead at the summit after just six rounds. Team Wellington moved into second though the capital club needed a late winner from Argentinian Emiliano Tado to score a 3-2 win at Hawke’s Bay United.