50 games, 150 goals: the key factors behind A-League's record-breaking goal fest
There's been no other season quite like the 2020/21 A-League campaign, with a record-breaking goal tally at the 50-game mark highlighting the enthralling scoring show being put on by all twelve teams across the league.
Matt Derbyshire's goal in Macarthur FC's 1-0 win over Sydney FC - the 50th game of the 2020/21 season - took the total goals tally to 150 for the campaign, before Newcastle Jets and Wellington Phoenix extended the count to 152 after 51 games on Sunday night.
An average of three goals were scored across each of the first 50 games throughout 10 eye-catching Matchweeks highlighted by big score-lines and the brilliance of a raft of emerging and experienced strikers.
The previous marker of 145 goals scored through the first 50 games of the 2017/18 season has been surpassed as the current campaign rolls into the next 50 games and beyond.
It's the latest revelation highlighted by a statistic collated by Andrew Howe which shows the extent of the increased scoring impetus this season, as all twelve teams continue to contribute to what has been an entertaining, engaging and at times downright absurd beginning to the new campaign.
Read on to see where the rich vein of goals have come from as the 2020/21 campaign reached a half century of fixtures in style.
To get to a record number of goals through 50 games, you need some standout results along the way.
Of the 51 games played to date, there's been one nine-goal thriller, an eight-goal feast and two games with seven strikes rattling the back of the net.
There's been more five-goal fixtures (six) than 0-0 draws (four).
The biggest results of the season have thrown up high-octane drama, beginning with Western United's 5-4 win over Perth Glory.
Perth's defeat in the nine-goal blockbuster followed a 5-3 win notched by Richard Garcia's men over Adelaide United in Perth the game prior. Glory's first two outings of the 2020/21 campaign features nine goals for and eight against, as the Western Australian side kickstarted a series of free-scoring fixtures.
Brisbane Roar sealed a 5-2 win over Melbourne Victory in Matchweek 7 before Western United came back to the fore in Matchweek 10 to defeat Melbourne Victory 4-3, going a man down in the second half but staving off a rampant Victory comeback to seal all three points with a winning goal struck with virtually the last kick of the game.
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Ruthless strikers growing from strength to strength as the season rolls on
A lot has been made about the impact of young players in the 2020/21 A-League campaign - and rightly so - but a quartet of experienced and deadly strikers are slowly but surely coming to the fore as the season rolls on.
Matt Derbyshire went to the top of the Golden Boot standings with his seventh goal of the season against the Sky Blues - the league's 150th goal in its 50th game.
Trailing by two and gaining momentum are the triple threat of Bruno Fornaroli, Besart Berisha and Jamie Maclaren. The trio of seasoned A-League stars are finding their rhythm and gunning for the top-scorer mantle.
Berisha has been the big mover of late. Back-to-back braces for Western United have taken the league's record-goalscorer up the rankings, after he netted for the first time against the Mariners in Matchweek 7.
Maclaren didn't get off the mark until Matchweek 4 but a brace in his last outing against the Sky Blues helped Melbourne City to victory in a five-goal occasion. Fornaroli has netted in five of his six Perth Glory appearances this season, and with games in hand on his Golden Boot rivals could emerge as the outright leader should his consistent form continue.
The four strikers are moving into strong individual patches of form to contest with the up-and-comers on the goalscoring charts. The healthy competition has helped the goal tally fly ahead throughout the first 50 A-League fixtures.
Emerging stars filling their boots in a glimpse of a bright future
The dogged determination of Dylan Wenzel-Halls, the rapid pace and clinical finishing of Mohamed Toure, the aerial threat of Nick D'Agostino, the 'did you see that?' wow-factor produced by explosive super-sub Alou Kuol.
These are the qualities shining brightly as a raft of young talents continue to demand the spotlight in the 2020/21 campaign.
The race for the Golden Boot has its usual contenders; the experienced spearheads who score goals in their sleep, and have done so for years.
But the likes of Kuol, Wenzel-Halls and D'Agostino are causing chaos in the standings - and winning points for their teams along the way.
Kuol trails Derbyshire by one goal in the race for the Golden Boot, with Wenzel-Halls in equal third on five and D'Agostino just one behind on four.
Perth's Carlo Armiento, Sky Blues striker Patrick Wood, Mariners creator Daniel De Silva and Reds live-wire Toure have three goals apiece, and are helping the Golden Boot contenders cause an uprising of soon-to-be (if not already) superstars in the 2020/21 campaign.
Confidence is sky high within the A-League's young brigade - and why shouldn't it be? Given a greater chance than ever before to show what they can do on the country's biggest stage, these prospering talents are seizing a golden opportunity with both hands, contributing to an unprecedented scoring bonanza.
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