Worldie-scorers, spark plugs and deliverers of deja vu: The A-League players who were the difference in Round 14
Round 14 was full of drama, with 13 goals scored in six games, two score draws and three teams that kept a clean sheet. Remarkably, the four teams that claimed three points had less possession than their opponent.
There was a controversial red card, along with that there were two out of three penalties given in the final game of the round, in a contest that ended up being a four-goal thriller between Macarthur FC and Perth Glory.
Take a look at who made a difference.
Terry Antonis had a big influence on the result of the game; he scored a cracking goal in the fifth minute, which proved to be the only goal of the contest.
The 30-year-old also had an impact in general play as he had a passing accuracy of 82 per cent and played a part defensively, as he cleared a ball from a save by Jamie Young in the 30th minute, which the Reds could have scored without his intervention.
Ethan Alagich made a difference; he came off the bench at half-time and created four chances.
The 20-year-old looked lively and created some spark in the Reds team and gave them an opportunity to get on the score sheet, which unfortunately they failed to do. Three of the four chances he provided were for Nestory Irankunda who couldn’t find the back of the net.
Zinedine Machach scored the equalising goal as he took advantage of a cross from Victory left-back Adama Traore, which caused chaos in the Sydney FC defence, in the 17th minute.
The 28-year-old proved that he has the talent to be one of the best players in the league, as he created three chances and looked threatening in the final third throughout.
The Frenchman put the ball on a plate for a Victory player to score in the 72nd minute, only for Jordan Courtney-Perkins of Sydney FC to clear the ball for a corner. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Machach and Victory.
Jordan Courtney-Perkins was outstanding for Sydney FC; the Sky Blues’ left-back scored the opening goal of the game in the tenth minute and was at the heart of plenty of defensive clearances made by Victory when his team were down to ten men.
The 21-year-old was insightful: “I don’t score many goals so it’s always great to score a goal. We’re getting fitter and stronger and better at the press.”
Ben Garuccio made many a marauding run down the left-hand side; the determination that he displayed was inspirational, even though Western United didn’t claim a point.
The 28-year-old provided plenty of opportunities for his team and was unlucky that his shot in the 90th minute was saved by an in-form goalkeeper for the Wanderers, Daniel Margush.
Western Sydney Wanderers
Daniel Margush had a tremendous game for the Wanderers; he made some important saves, which was probably the reason why his team claimed all three points.
Margush has put himself in the shop window and his post-match comments were interesting: “It’s a great result for the team. You have to embrace the challenge.”
Kosta Grozos had an impact on the game and can count himself unfortunate to be in the losing team; he had a shot well blocked by Scott Wooton on the line in the 11th minute, which led to the ball hitting the bar. To go with that, Grozos had a shot from distance brilliantly saved by Phoenix goalkeeper, Alex Paulsen in the 37th minute and provided the assist for the Jets only goal in the 80th minute, scored by Trent Buhagiar.
Oskar Zawada showed his quality in the 87th minute, which proved to be the difference between the two teams; he gave the Phoenix a 2-1 lead. Remarkably, the Round 14 game was his first match back from an injury with the clinical finish he provided in his cameo off the bench.
On November 10 in a Round 4 pre-match interview against Melbourne Victory, he said: “I am the best striker in the league.”
That confidence was evident when he scored what proved to be the winning goal, in Round 14 against the Jets.
Central Coast Mariners
Josh Nisbet put in a typical Josh Nisbet performance; he was involved heavily in the game and played a part in both goals scored.
The midfield prospect provided a pass to Jacob Farrell, who provided an assist for Miguel Di Pizio, who scored the opening goal of the game in the 40th minute. Along with that, Nisbet provided the assist for what proved to be the winning goal by Angel Torres in the 90th minute.
When asked about going overseas after the game, he gave a measured response: “It has to be the right opportunity.”
Kai Trewin put in a decent display in midfield for the Roar; his passing was impressive as he passed the ball at an accuracy of 94 per cent.
The pivotal moment of the game for the Roar was brought about by a long switch of play from Trewin to Jack Hingert, who put it on a plate for Roar substitute Thomas Waddingham, who squandered the opportunity to make the score 1-all in the 82nd minute.
Valere Germain provided an assist for the opening goal of the game scored by Ulises Davila in the ninth minute.
The 33-yeard-old won a penalty kick and scored a goal from the spot, which gave the Bulls a 2-1 lead in the 82nd minute, which unfortunately for him didn’t get his team three points as there was late drama.
David Williams created havoc by scoring late for the second week in a row.
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The 35-year-old scored the equaliser, which made the score 2-2, as he weaved his way through the Bulls’ defence and finished it off with a goal that warranted his trickery.