Adelaide United left for the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan as leaders of Australia's A-League after a rousing 6-1 win over Wellington Phoenix. The Reds produced some of their best football of the season to put the New Zealanders to the sword and leapfrog Melbourne Victory to the top of the standings after 14 matches. The Reds open the Club World Cup against New Zealand's Waitakere United on Dec. 11 and must win to face Gamba Osaka in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Adelaide, who lost the AFC Champions League final to Japan's Gamba Osaka last month, were lifted to victory with two goals each from Brazilians Cristiano and Cassio. Defender Sasa Ognenovski scored the opener in the 21st minute and skipper Travis Dodd added a sixth in stoppage time.
Melbourne relinquished the A-League lead after a 3-1 away loss to Perth Glory. Melbourne, who lost, 2-1, to Wellington last week, are one point behind Adelaide. Victory slumped to their second consecutive loss after a first-half brace from Ivory Coast striker Eugene Dadi and a thunderbolt from Adriano Pellegrino inspired Glory to their fourth win of the season.
Substitute Brendon Gan lifted Sydney FC out of their slump with a late winner in a 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets in Newcastle. The 20-year-old, in only his second A-League appearance, fired home the winner in the 78th minute after first-half goals from Jets midfielder Jobe Wheelhouse and Sydney defender Iain Fyfe. It was Sydney's first win in the league since October and lifted them to third ahead of Queensland Roar. Newcastle, the reigning A-League champions, are in last place, eight points outside the top four with seven matches remaining.
Central Coast pulled off another late escape to rescue a point in a 1-1 home draw with Queensland. A 30-metre free-kick from Dutch import Serginho Van Dijk looked to have the Roar heading for an away win before Mariners substitute Andre Gumprecht equalised in the 83rd minute.