ASEAN and East Asia Domestic Wrap: Vissel Kobe win Super Cup
Kuala Lumpur: Andres Iniesta captained Vissel Kobe to the 2020 Japanese Super Cup in the J.League's opener on Saturday after the side edged out champions Yokohama F. Marinos at the Saitama Stadium.
In Australia, league-leaders Sydney FC had their local derby against Western Sydney Wanderers postponed, allowing the chasing pack to make up points.
Meanwhile in Myanmar, Hantharwady United registered their fifth win in succession as their early season form continues in flawless fashion.
With other East Asian leagues now just a few weeks away from kick-off, the action in the East remains in Guam where there were plenty of goals to recount from the weekend.
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Japan: Vissel edge Marinos after penalty shootout drama
The 2020 J.League looks set to be a season to savour after the first domestic tie of the year in Japan, the Japanese Super Cup, proved to be a thriller.
Three times Emperor's Cup winners Vissel Kobe took the lead against league champions Yokohama F. Marinos and each time they were pegged back by Ange Postecoglou's resilient side.
But the real drama came in a wild penalty shootout as the teams missed nine penalties in a row before, finally, Hotaru Yamaguchi's effort - the 14th of the shootout - decided matters.
“It was a good commercial for Japanese soccer. I hope the fans enjoyed it,” Vissel manager Thorsten Fink said. “I’ve never seen a penalty shootout like that.”
Australia: Victory fall to defeat in Melbourne derby; Jets and Mariners share seven-goal thriller
While the much-anticipated Sydney derby was called off due to inclement weather conditions, there was still a city rivalry to play-out over the weekend in Australia as Melbourne City edged past Melbourne Victory on Friday.
On the same day, it was a battle of third and fourth when Perth Glory hosted Wellington Phoenix and it was the defending Premiers who came out on top in a roller coaster 4-2 win.
With the tie between Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers postponed, Brisbane Roar vs Adelaide United was Saturday's only tie and Robbie Fowler's improving Roar side claimed three points in a narrow 2-1 victory.
But it was Sunday that arguably produced the most exciting tie of the day as Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners shared a goal-packed encounter.
Jets went two goals to the good inside the opening half hour before strikes either side of half-time saw the visitors draw level. But just six minutes later the hosts were two ahead once more.
Chris Harold's late effort for Mariners to make it 4-3 ensured a grandstand finish but it was the home side who held out for a vital win.
Myanmar: Five star Hantharwady keep up the pace
Hantharwady United picked up arguably the most impressive win of their five-game streak on Friday with a 3-0 away victory at Magwe, although the pace-setters are being matched by Yangon United and Ayeyawady United who also won on the weekend, defeating I.S.P.E. and Southern Myanmar respectively.
Also on Saturday, Sagaing United registered a comfortable 3-0 win over Zwekapin United at Thuwanna Stadium in Yangon.
Sunday brought a 3-1 away win for defending champions Shan United at Yadanarbon, while Rakhine United and Chin United had to settle for a goalless stalemate.
Guam: BOG Strykers' winning streak brought to a halt
Having embarked on run of wins that looked to endure for the foreseeable future, league leaders BOG Strykers winning run was snapped at eight game after a goalless draw on Saturday with Quality Distributors.
Second placed Napa Rovers took full advantage with an emphatic 8-3 win over Guam Shipyard to reduce the gap at the top to three points.
Islanders also picked up momentum with an emphatic 6-1 win over Sidekicks, while Guam U-19 came out on top of a 13-goal bonanza against Loa Heat, winning 9-4.
Photo: Vissel Kobe
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