The A-League players who were the difference for their teams in Round 8
What an intriguing round of football we were treated to; there were 20 goals scored in six matches and all four teams that claimed three points had less possession than their opposition. There was a six-goal thriller that ended all square between last season’s Grand Finalists.
Take a look at who made a difference for their team in Round 8.
Daniel Penha played a key part in Western United notching just their second win in eight games this season.
The Brazilian never gave up, as he was a constant threat in the final third, as Penha had three shots on target and set up a chance for Riku Danzaki in the eighth minute, which was well saved by Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Macklin Freke.
It looked like Western United were never going to score in the 60th minute, as he hit the post with a cracking effort on goal, but Penha was rewarded for his persistence when he slotted away the equaliser in the 83rd minute from the penalty spot.
Penha understood how vital the three points were post-match: “That win is so important.”
Jay O’Shea was the player that endeavoured to get Brisbane Roar at least a point.
The Irishman set up a chance for Nikola Mileusnic in the eighth minute and for Roar substitute Carlo Armiento in the 86th minute, but unfortunately neither resulted in a goal.
O’Shea scored from the penalty spot in the 69th minute with a clinical finish to break the deadlock and once again led by example.
Western Sydney Wanderers
Jorrit Hendrix put in a great shift for Western Sydney Wanderers. In the 18th minute Hendrix was forced to move from midfield to centre-back due to an injury suffered by Tom Beadling. He took to the change of position like a duck to water.
The Dutchman was responsible for the build-up to the only goal of the game, with a pinpoint cross, which subsequently led to Dylan Pierias scoring in the 23rd minute.
Hendrix summed his change of position up well: “Sometimes you have to just switch and be there for the team wherever its necessary.”
Nestory Irankunda breathed life into an Adelaide United team that needed an injection of youthful exuberance in the second half.
The Adelaide United substitute provided a spark with a cracking shot in the 75th minute, which was saved by Lawrence Thomas and would’ve brought about a goal for Zach Clough, if not for Clough being offside.
Irankunda displayed why he is probably more valuable as an impact player, as he only featured in the second half of the game and produced two of the three shots on target for the Reds.
Lucas Mauragis left it all out there on the pitch; he made many a marauding run down the left-hand side for the Newcastle Jets until the final whistle blew, literally.
The young talented left-back ran until he couldn’t stop. The interplay was sublime between him and Newcastle Jets substitute Daniel Wilmering.
In the end Mauragis got rewarded for his hard work when his pinpoint cross resulted in Jets substitute Trent Buhagiar scoring the equaliser in the 97th minute.
Adam Taggart got Perth Glory back into the game with a goal that levelled the scores at 1-1 early in the second half.
The Socceroo set up a chance for Stefan Colakovski to make the score 3-1 in the 60th minute, which Colakovski unfortunately failed to make contact with. Along with that, Taggart blocked a shot from Newcastle Jets substitute Trent Buhagiar in the 83rd minute, which showed his work rate.
Despite claiming just one point, the Perth Glory co-captain wasn’t throwing the baby out with the bath water in his analysis: “I thought we really fought back. It’s obviously an improvement.”
Zinedine Machach delivered when the game was there to be won.
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The Frenchman scored the second goal for Melbourne Victory in four minutes, with a clinical chip over Sydney FC goalkeeper Adam Pavlesic. Machach wasn’t done yet, as he provided a sublime assist for Bruno Fornaroli in the 57th minute, which gave Victory what proved to be an unassailable three-goal advantage.
In the post-match he summed up the feeling within his team at the moment: “All the people in the team help each other. I’m so happy.”
Jaiden Kucharski proved that he has plenty of talent and should be in the starting line-up every game when fit and available with an impressive display coming off the bench in the 58th minute.
The deficit for Sydney FC may have been three goals, but you wouldn’t have known it, by the way the talented youngster played.
Kucharski breathed some life into a Sydney FC team that needs to make changes in order to arrest their slump. Ufuk Talay has a job on his hands, as the Sky Blues struggled in the Big Blue.
Tolgay Arslan played some exquisite passes and displayed his silky skills.
The German was at his best and was rewarded with a goal, which made the score 2-2 in the 63rd minute.
To put in simple terms Arslan made things happen and performed well as he created four chances and was a constant threat.
Central Coast Mariners
Angel Torres played extremely well in the second half, as the Colombian scored a hat-trick within the space of 33 minutes.
The decision by Central Coast Mariners coach Mark Jackson to move Josh Nisbet into the No.10 role in the second half was a master stroke, as it meant Torres had more opportunities to score.
The three goals were clinical finishes from Torres were all calm and composed and meant that the Mariners didn’t leave empty-handed in a six-goal thriller.
Daniel De Silva was injected into the game and breathed life into a Macarthur FC team that looked flat.
The Bulls substitute passed the ball around accurately, as he created two chances and made seven passes into the final third.
Kosta Barbarouses showed what a valuable asset he is to Wellington Phoenix and proved that age is just a number.
The New Zealander combined well with Ben Old who played a one-two with Barbarouses, which led to the goal that broke the deadlock, scored by Bozhidar Kraev in the 40th minute.
In the second half the Kiwi international gave Phoenix what proved to be an unassailable three-goal lead, by scoring two goals in three minutes.