Once again, happy new year from your friends at The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer. As promised, we have a recap of action from the A-League and the Emperor’s Cup. Let’s start with the action in Australia. Round 13 of the 2015-16 Hyundai A-League season has concluded, and the Brisbane Roar have caught up with the Western Sydney Wanderers at the top of the A-League ladder.
At Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, New South Wales, Tony Walmsley‘s Central Coast Mariners stunned Ernie Merrick‘s Wellington Phoenix 3-1. Fabio Ferreira (27), Mitchell Austin (30) and Michael Neill (70) scored for Central Coast, while substitute Blake Powell got on the board for the Nix in the 678th minute of play.
Tony Popovic‘s Wanderers and Guillermo Amor‘s Adelaide United were held to a scoreless draw at Parramatta Stadium in Parramatta, Western Sydney. At Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Queensland, John Aloisi‘s Roar defeated Kenny Lowe‘s Perth Glory 2-1. Jamie Maclaren (52′) and Henrique (61′) scored for Brisbane, while Hagi Gligor scored in the 70th minute for Perth.
Despite a brace from Milos Ninkovic in the 53rd and 78th minutes of play, Graham Arnold‘s Sydney FC were held to a 2-2 draw by John van ‘t Schip‘s Melbourne City on goals from Aaron Hughes (57′) and Bruno Fornaroli (60′) at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Victoria. Fahid Ben Khalfallah ended the drought of victories for Kevin Muscat‘s Melbourne Victory in the 71st minute as they got a breakthrough victory over Scott Miller‘s Newcastle Jets 1-0 at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle, New South Wales.
Finally, in the Emperor’s Cup Final, Kenta Hasegawa‘s Gamba Osaka defended their trophy on a brace from Brazilian Patric in the 32nd and 53rd minutes to defeat Mihailo Petrovic‘s Urawa Reds 2-1 at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Shinzo Koroki scored in the 36th minute for Urawa. Gamba joins Melbourne Victory’s group in the AFC Champions League, while Urawa will be in Sydney FC’s group.
“I am glad that I could make a contribution to the team as we welcome in the New Year,” said Patric. “Everyone on the team did well and I want to congratulate all of them.”
“I just wanted the game to hurry up and finish,” said Gamba’s Takashi Usami, who did not have an impressive performance in the final. “I didn’t score today and I am grateful to Patric (for his goals) and the defense dug in until the end. I didn’t play that well and I am grateful to the team for winning the title.”