Barbarouses joins Hyundai A-League’s elite with brilliant hat-trick
He may not grab the headlines of some of his big-name teammates but Kosta Barbarouses has joined some elite company after his star showing for Melbourne Victory on Tuesday night.
Barbarouses scored a second-half hat-trick as Victory crushed a hapless Brisbane Roar 5-0 at Suncorp Stadium to keep the pressure on league-leaders Perth Glory.
For a player who is approaching 10 years in the Hyundai A-League, it was the New Zealand international’s first-ever treble in the competition.
But the breakthrough achievement was not the real story for Barbarouses against Roar.
His first goal – when he slotted a penalty inside three minutes after the break - made him the eighth player to hit 50 goals in the Hyundai A-League.
Barbarouses went on to add two more goals before the end to take him to 52-career goals, leapfrogging both Sergio van Dijk (50) and Jamie Maclaren (51) on the all-time scoring charts.
The 28-year-old now sits sixth on the Hyundai A-League’s scoring charts, behind Besart Berisha (116), Shane Smeltz (92), Archie Thompson (90), Alex Brosque (70) and Mark Bridge (62).
What makes Barbarouses’ effort all-the-more special is he is the only player on that list to have played predominantly as a winger throughout his career.
“Really early in my career I was a striker but as soon as they know you are quick and not too tall they put you out wide,” Barbarouses told Fox Sports post-match.
“I had to reinvent myself when I got to 19, 20 and I’m really loving this formation change and Ola [Toivonen] has been a brilliant influence.
“Everyone can see that and it makes life easier for me to have a partner like that up top.”
Barbarouses man-of-the-match display came despite the winger battling illness for the past five days.
But he showed no signs of any lingering issues as Victory registered their record-breaking win to heap more misery on the struggling Roar.