Veteran keepers and first-time goal-scorers: The A-League players who were the difference in Round 25


Round 25 was a weekend of football that had plenty of action. There were five games due to the Central Coast Mariners vs Adelaide United game being postponed. Two of the five games were draws and there were three red cards, with two for Macarthur FC, who fought on bravely.

Interestingly, the round comprised of a 0-0 draw, with seven out of 13 goals scored in the final game of the weekend in a bottom-of-the-table clash between Perth Glory and Western United. In all three games where a team claimed three points, the winning team had less possession than their opponent.

Check out which players made the difference for their respective teams.

Newcastle Jets

Ryan Scott put in a quality display; the former Western United keeper made a great save from Mohamed Al-Taay in the 33rd minute and from Alex Rufer in first-half stoppage time.

.@NewcastleJetsFC goalkeeper Ryan Scott REALLY doesn’t want F3 Derby rivals @CCMariners to take out the Premiers Plate ????????

This guy has jokes ???? No wonder he’s fit in so well on the Hunter!

— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) April 19, 2024

The Jets goalkeeper made an amazing save to deny Kosta Barbarouses in the 60th minute and a quality save with his foot from Ben Old in the 63rd minute.

Post-match he was measured: “It’s always nice to make a couple of saves. It was a tough couple of years. Just really happy to be playing week in, week out. We had a couple of good chances at 1-0. I want to play for this club. We’ve lost points late in games. We’re fighting for the people”

Wellington Phoenix

Ben Old was a constant threat down the left-hand side.

The 21-year-old created four chances and set up the goal, as his cross led to the equaliser scored by Kosta Barbarouses in the 71st minute, through a deflection off a Jets defender.

There’s no disputing Old has become a solid contributor for the Phoenix and is a player that they when firing is hard to stop.

Western Sydney Wanderers

Marcus Younis came off the bench and he would’ve been stung by being singled out by coach Marko Rudan following the derby loss to the Sky Blues.

18-year-old Marcus Younis scores his first Isuzu UTE A-League goal and @wswanderersfc have a lifeline! ????

A great header from a brilliant Dylan Scicluna cross ????????

Tune in live on Paramount+ ????

— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) April 20, 2024

The 18-year-old substitute scored the only goal for the Wanderers and he brought plenty of energy off the bench, which gave the Wanderers impetus to go on and get something out of the game in terms of points, which they failed to do.

The goal scored came from a pinpoint cross from fellow substitute Dylan Scicluna in the 69th minute, which made the deficit for the Wanderers one goal.

His comments post-match were intriguing: “I’m blessed that the coach gave me the opportunity. The second half we had was unreal. Special thanks to Scicluna. Football can change very quickly.”

Melbourne City

Jamie Young made some crucial saves, which helped City get the three points.

The 38-year-old is like a fine wine; the experienced goalkeeper gets better with age. Having finished with seven saves is pretty impressive; having only conceded one goal even though he faced an expected-goals stat of 2.39.

His post-match comments were insightful: “It’s not just me it’s the whole team. It was a big game. It was mindset, mentality. We have to go again now and stay humble. We go into every game with confidence.”

Jamie Young. (Photo by Steve Christo – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Melbourne Victory

Paul Izzo helped Victory claim a point with an outstanding save from a header by Nikola Mileusnic in the 65th minute, which Izzo did well to get a hand to and concede a corner.

The Victory goalkeeper made three saves and helped his team keep a clean sheet.

Brisbane Roar

Corey Brown played well and created six chances for the second week in a row, some coming from open play and the others from corners.

The left-back created the first chance for the Roar, which came in the third minute when he took a pinpoint corner, that was headed wide by Florin Berenguer, which unfortunately was the story of their day.

The 30-year-old worked hard with and without the ball, curtailing the influence of Victory winger Daniel Arzani. It was a game that the Roar deserved to win, but that’s football.

Macarthur FC

Jed Drew played well for the Bulls, as he scored the only goal of the game, which came in first-half stoppage time. Valere Germain played an inch-perfect pass that found Drew and he used his pace; his first shot saved by Andrew Redmayne, only for the Bulls winger to score on the second attempt.

The 20-year-old was measured post-match: “That just shows the character we have in the team, tonight. It just shows we can go far in this competition. We can’t control the decisions, we just need to stick to our plan. We just need to keep adapting.”

Bulls coach Mile Sterjovski appreciated Drew’s performance: “Jed was great on the wing.”

Sydney FC

Ivan Vujica was shown a straight red card after a VAR check for this tackle on Joe Lolley ????

Tune in live on Paramount+ and 10 BOLD ????


— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) April 20, 2024

Joe Lolley did everything in his power for the Sky Blues to get something out of the game in terms of points, but the ball just wouldn’t go in the back of the net.

The 31-year-old created four chances, 13 touches in the opposition box and two shots on target.

The Englishman gave an honest assessment of the game from a Sky Blues perspective and the controversial red card given to opposition player Ivan Vujica: “It was just a very bad night. I think it’s shocking. I’m actually scared of making a tackle.”

Perth Glory

Adam Taggart scored a brace, but somehow the Glory managed to lose the game.

A place in Isuzu UTE A-League and Perth Glory history for Adam Taggart ????????????

A brace today saw the Glory gun overtake Shane Smeltz for the most goals for the club in a single season.

Back in the Socceroos and back atop the Golden Boot race. What a season he’s had!

— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) April 21, 2024

The Socceroo got the Glory back into the game with a fantastic headed goal from a pinpoint cross by John Koutroumbis in the 23rd minute, which made the score 1-1.

The 30-year-old made the score 2-1 in favour of Glory as he pounced on an error from Western United centre-back Tomoki Imai and should’ve had a hat-trick in the 87th minute with a great cross coming from Giordano Colli, but it wasn’t to be.

The Glory captain was honest post-match: “Really, really disappointing. It’s not been good enough this season.”

Western United

A first A-Leagues goal for 20-year-old Abel Walatee just ???????????????????? ???????????????????????????? after coming on for his second game ????????

He’s only played 15 minutes of Isuzu UTE A-League in his career ???? What a moment for the @wufcofficial academy product!

Tune in NOW on Paramount+ ????…

— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) April 21, 2024

Abel Walatee was brought off the bench to make an impact and that’s exactly what the youngster did, given he scored just seven minutes after coming off the bench to give Western United a 3-2 lead with a perfectly aimed shot that hit the post and ended up in the back of the net. Credit to Angus Thurgate for the through ball.

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The 20-year-old worked hard with and without the ball and wasn’t content with getting on the score sheet; showing desire, confidence and belief were a trademark of his cameo.

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