Mixed results for Asian pacesetters
The frontrunners across Asia enjoyed differing fortunes at the weekend, with Al Ain and Riffa strengthening their leads in United Arab Emirates and Bahrain respectively, while Australia's Central Coast Mariners and Qatar's Lekhwiya dropped points. And, there was drama across the continent too as Brisbane Roar bagged an incredible late win, and in UAE, Diego Maradona's Al Wasl snatched a much-needed three points in thrilling fashion. Join FIFA.com as we take a closer look at all the action.
Australian A-League: Roar stun as leaders stutter
The A-League Round of 15 was marked by dramatic finishes, with Tim Brown scoring the only goal on 88 minutes as Wellington Phoenix broke their away duck at Gold Coast United, while two goals in stoppage time earned Brisbane Roar a thrilling comeback win over Sydney FC. Despite the victory, runners-up Roar are still six points shy of leaders Central Coast Mariners, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle Jets. Phoenix, meanwhile, remain in fourth behind Melbourne Heart, who suffered a 2-1 home defeat by Perth Glory.
The big game: The much-anticipated F3 derby between hosts Mariners and Jets, a clash that can attribute its name to the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway connecting the two cities, ended all square as the leaders avoided defeat. Labinot Haliti scored on 17 minutes to give the visitors a stunning lead, but despite missing a first-half penalty, Patrick Zwaanswijk levelled things on the hour mark as Mariners set a new club record of going 13 games unbeaten.
The headline-grabber: Defending champions Roar ended their two-match winless streak in style, netting two goals in less than a minute of injury time to clinch an unlikely 2-1 triumph over Sydney FC. Having trailed since the 39th minute, the hosts drew level courtesy of a Mohamed Adnan free-kick before league top-scorer Besart Berisha headed home the winner.
Qatari Stars League: Lekhwiya lose ground
Defending champions and current leaders Lekhwiya suffered their second defeat this season - a 2-1 loss at home to fourth-placed Al Wakra, allowing runners-up Al Sadd to cut the gap at the top to just two points. At the other end of the table, Umm Salal remain rooted to the bottom after a goalless draw at Al Rayyan.
The big game: The league's joint top-scorer Said Boutahar scored a brace for Al Wakra, condemning Lekhwiya to defeat. The Dutch midfielder put his side ahead after 16 minutes and although Mohammed Razak drew Lekhwiya level on 68 minutes, Boutahar had the final say with only ten minutes to go.
The headline-grabber: Seven-time Qatari champions Al Gharafa returned to winning ways with a spirited 2-1 victory at Qatar SC. Former Brazilian international Ze Roberto opened the scoring on the hour mark before Othmane El Assas sealed the points a minute from time, ending their five-match winless run.
UAE Pro-League: Al Ain stay unbeaten
In pursuit of their tenth Pro-League title, Al Ain remained on course as they extended their unbeaten run with a 4-1 thrashing of ninth-placed Ajman. The result has left Al Ain four points clear at the top, ahead of holders Al Jazira, who recorded a 4-2 victory at Dubai. Meanwhile, Al Nasr, also among the chasing pack, edged Al Shabab 2-1 to move up to third at their opponents expense.
The big game: Boasting big-name imports in Ghanian striker Asamoah Gyan and Saudi hot-shot Yasser Al Qahtani, it is little surprise that Al Ain have enjoyed a re-emergence this season. But it was a pair of lesser known forwards that contributed in this Sunday's win over Ajman with Mouhammed Nasser and Ignacio Scocco each bagging a brace.
The headline-grabber: Two second-half goals saw Al Wasl come from behind to seal a 2-1 win at Al Ahli as Diego Maradona's side snapped a three-match losing streak. Mariano Donda scored from the spot on 78 minutes to cancel out Grafite's first-half opener for the hosts before Juan Manuel Olivera saw his header deflected in by Yousif Mohamed six minutes from time.
In Vietnam, T&T Ha Noi conceded their lead to SHB.Da Nang, who defeated Hoang Anh Gia Lai 4-1 at home, after a 2-2 draw with third-placed SLNA. LS.Thanh Hoa, meanwhile, moved into fourth place with a 2-1 win over B.Binh Duong thanks to a Michael Mensah double.
In Kuwait, defending champions Al Qadissiyah continued their impressive form this new season, beating 16-time champions Al Arabi to record their third win. Despite getting off to a strong start with two opening victories, Jahra suffered their first defeat, losing 3-1 at Al Kuwait, who moved up to second place.