Creators, goal line clearers and goal-scorers: The A-League players who were the difference in Round 13
Round 13 was a cracking weekend of football with 16 goals scored in five games and with Sydney FC the only team to keep a clean sheet. Incredibly for the second week in a row only one team kept a clean sheet and three out of four teams that claimed three points had less possession than their opposition.
After Melbourne City defeated Western United 2-1 in Round 11, Aurelio Vidmar uttered prophetic words about the A-League: “Anybody can beat anybody on any given day,” and Perth Glory proved that with an upset win over Western Sydney Wanderers.
There were only 10 teams to dissect in Round 13 as Adelaide and Western United didn’t play. Take a look who made a difference.
Jonas Markovski breathed some life into the Roar team, scoring a goal, which made the deficit for them two goals in the 62nd minute.
The 24-year-old substitute also created three chances and gave his team a chance to get back into the game, which, unfortunately didn’t occur.
Jed Drew played a part in all three goals scored by the Bulls.
The 20-year-old provided an assist for the opening goal scored by Ulises Davila. Along with that, Drew played a pass to Valere Germain, who provided the assist for the second goal scored by Raphael Borges Rodrigues and Drew scored the third goal.
The young winger also worked tirelessly, making many a marauding run forward down the right-hand side that exposed the Roar defensively.
Alex Rufer led well defensively and took the bull by the horns when he grabbed the ball to take the penalty for Phoenix, in second-half stoppage time, which salvaged a point for his team who played with 10 men for the entirety of the second half.
The 27-year-old Phoenix captain said post-match: “Look, I was confident. That was a moment I wanted to take. Really, really happy and we’ll take the point.”
Daniel Arzani was dangerous in the final third as he created a couple of clear-cut chances.
The Victory playmaker was at his best, particularly in the first half and showed why he’s a player who can have an impact when needed, as he has the capability of creating something out of nothing.
Victory coach Tony Popovic looks to be getting the most out of Arzani, even though in the game against the Phoenix he succumbed to cramp and couldn’t last the 90 minutes.
Max Burgess was outstanding for the Sky Blues, as he provided an assist for the opening goal scored with an exquisite pass to Patrick Wood.
The 29-year-old later scored a brace with three minutes between the two goals that he scored.
In his first start under Sky Blues coach Ufuk Talay, Burgess showed why he’s a prodigious talent and will be a contributor for Sydney should he stay injury-free.
Burgess’ post-match comments were interesting: “I seemed to get a second wind in the second half. We press high and we take risks.”
Western Sydney Wanderers
Marcelo displayed great leadership with two shots cleared off the line. Most notably, the Wanderers captain cleared a shot from Adam Taggart off the line in the 38th minute, just four minutes after Stefan Colakovski of the Glory broke the deadlock.
The 36-year-old Brazilian centre-back won all seven aerial duels and his header led to the Wanderers’ only goal of the game, albeit in the 96th minute. There’s not much more Marcelo could’ve done.
Adam Taggart put in a good shift. Early on, it appeared as if the star striker had a calf injury, but thankfully it was nothing to worry about.
The Socceroo provided the assist with a one-touch pass that Colakovski put into the back of the net, which meant once again Glory scored the opening goal.
The captain displayed great leadership and was a constant threat, despite failing to score.
Post-match his comments were fascinating: “Obviously that’s a massive win for us. Everyone worked their socks off and in the end got the reward. We work a lot on transitioning in training. As much as I love scoring goals, I want to win the game more.”
Central Coast Mariners
Josh Nisbet was put in a great shift for the Mariners as the consummate professional worked hard both in the attacking half and helped out defensively when needed.
The 24-year-old was a joy to watch as he never stopped working and was rewarded with the assist for the goal scored by Christian Theoharous, which broke the deadlock in the 50th minute.
During second-half stoppage time, fireworks erupted as both benches got involved, which saw Storm Roux receive a red card and five other players shown a yellow card. The mayhem was well summed up by Nisbet: “You can see the passion of the game.”
Andrew Nabbout did exactly what you want an impact player to do, which is to influence the game.
The 31-year-old did his utmost to get City a result, but unfortunately, he was on the losing side. Whenever Nabbout got the ball it looked like something was going to happen and it’s no surprise his cross created chaos in the box and led to City’s only goal of the game through Steven Ugarkovic.
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