Hat-trick heroes and incisive passers: The A-League players who were the difference in Round 12


Unite Round delivered plenty of drama and excitement; 28 goals scored in six matches, which included two score draws and Western Sydney Wanderers being the only team to keep a clean sheet. Incredibly, three out of the four teams that claimed three points had less possession than their opponents.

Take a look at who made a difference for their team in Round 12.

Macarthur FC

Ulises Davila showed why he’s so highly regarded by many football experts; the Mexican maestro scored a hat-trick to help the Bulls claim a draw in a game that they deserved to lose.

The 32-year-old scored the equaliser twice and gave his team the lead once. He put on a show as he usually does and in Round 12, he was clinical in the final third.

Even opposition players appreciate his talent as Ben Garuccio said post-match: “Look, Davila scored a hat-trick, you’ve got to take your hat off sometimes.”

Western United

Daniel Penha scored two goals in an 11-minute period in the second half in the 74th and 85th minute.

The Brazilian magician scored a sublime goal to give what looked like the three points to Western United with a freakish strike in the 85th minute.

Daniel Penha of Western United and Aziz Behich of Melbourne City contest the ball. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Melbourne City

Curtis Good prevented two goal-scoring opportunities; the first in the 54th minute when he was one-on-one with Nicolas Milanovic and on the second occasion in the 61st minute, he stopped Marcus Antonsson from possibly scoring a goal.

Western Sydney Wanderers

Dylan Pierias performed well; it appeared as if Pierias played with a point to prove, he wants to be permanent part of the Wanderers’ starting 11.

The 23-year-old scored the only goal of the game in the 27th minute and used his pace to good effect, as he made many a marauding run down the right-hand side.

His post-match interview was intriguing with regards to taking his chances: “It’s probably more mental than physical.”

Central Coast Mariners

Max Balard gave Central Coast Mariners a point as he threaded through a pass that substitute Jing Reec put into the back of the net, in the 90th minute!

The 23-year-old provided good delivery from set-pieces and tracked back to win the ball back for the Mariners.

Melbourne Victory

Daniel Arzani gave the Victory the lead with a calmly taken penalty in the 33rd minute.

The 25-year-old still harbours ambitions of furthering his career: “I feel like I want to get back into the Socceroos.” Along with that Arzani conveyed the mood within the Victory team: “We want to be at the top.”

Adelaide United

Hiroshi Ibusuki was involved in all four goals scored by Adelaide United; the Reds striker scored a hat-trick and provided an assist.

The 32-year-old vindicated that at his best he should be a permanent part of the Adelaide United starting 11.

The Japanese striker summed up the late drama that nearly saw Adelaide United cough up a three-goal lead: “I’m very happy to get the three points.”

Sydney FC

Joe Lolley endeavoured to bring the Sky Blues back into the game, when the deficit for them was three goals; he scored their second and third goal and was unfortunate not to score a hat-trick as he hit the post in the 89th minute.

The 31-year-old Englishman made the deficit for his team two goals in the 76th minute and his second goal came in the 95th minute, which made it 4-3 in favour of the Reds.

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Perth Glory

Adam Taggart gave Glory the start that would’ve been aiming for, as he scored a cracking headed goal in the seventh minute.

The 30-year-old tried hard to get a result for his team, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

Wellington Phoenix

Kosta Barbarouses continued his purple patch, scoring two goals and providing an assist for a goal from Phoenix right-back Tim Payne.

The New Zealand international made the score 1-1 in the 29th minute, which breathed life into his team and scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 73rd minute, as it gave Phoenix a 4-3 lead.

The 33-year-old gave an honest appraisal of the performance put in by his team: “I thought we were really great in patches.”

Brisbane Roar

Jay O’Shea stepped up when the Roar needed a spark with a goal that made the score 1-1 in the 61st minute.

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The 35-year-old was calm and composed when he slotted what proved to be the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 90th minute, which gave the Roar a character-building 3-2 win.

The Irishman summed up the importance of the game well: “We needed that win big time.”

Newcastle Jets

Apostolos Stamatelopoulos scored the opening goal of the game in the 18th minute thanks to a clinical finish by the Jets striker.

The 24-year-old created three chances, most notably he provided a cut back that resulted in Trent Buhagiar hitting the bar in the 47th minute, which would’ve given his team a two-goal lead.

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