Heroic Moments: Is this the greatest double-save in Hyundai A-League history?
For a split-second, Andy Keogh had set himself to wheel away in celebration.
Like everyone else at nib Stadium on Saturday evening, the Perth striker thought he’d scored for all money when he planted Jason Davidson’s cross toward the top corner.
But somehow, the Irishman was denied by a phenomenal double save from Jamie Young. It might only be Round 3, but the Brisbane Roar sentry may have locked up save of the season already.
Roar might have ultimately been felled 2-1 in Western Australia, but John Aloisi’s side will at least have guaranteed themselves a place on the end of season highlights reel.
Young’s initial parry to keep out Keogh’s close-range header was impressive enough. But the 33-year-old’s re-adjustment to throw himself back up off the ground and tip Keogh’s follow up header onto the bar was an act of phenomenal agility.
“They probably are the best saves I’ve made,” Young told The Courier-Mail.
“The first one I put myself in a great position to make the save. I was quite close to the goal line, so that means I could get more time to react to the header.
“Then when I got to the header and put it back in the air a little bit further so Keogh had to stretch in the air, I knew he would find it difficult to head it down. I thought he would head it back up again.
“Luckily I had that reaction save in there — it’s pretty incredible stuff.
“When you make a save like that, that’s when you know how much work you put in at training every week.”
The teething problems that plagued Young during the early stages of his Hyundai A-League tenure with Brisbane seem part of a past life.
Now, the reigning Hyundai A-League golden glove winner is rightly renowned as one of the finest stoppers in the competition, underlined by his heroic Round 3 acrobatics.
Goodwin unstoppable as Arnie watches on
That’s five goals in 10 days from Adelaide United’s Craig Goodwin.
The left winger is turning into quite the talisman for Marco Kurz’s Reds. Goodwin has averaged a goal every 85.3 minutes in the Hyundai A-League, with his brace against the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday headlining a statement 3-0 victory – all done as Caltex Socceroos boss Graham Arnold watched on.
Glory duo striking up formidable partnership
Christopher Ikonomidis is thriving under Tony Popovic.
The 23-year-old attacker was once again in full flight in Glory’s 2-1 win over Brisbane on Saturday evening, and the combination he is striking with Andy Keogh could prove to be a golden partnership for Perth.
"You can see it yourself. He's a real talent," Popovic said.
"He's a young player and he'll be a lot better as the year goes on - he hasn't played a lot of football in the last three or four months. But he's a great talent and you can see [Ikonomidis and Keogh] are starting to link up well."
Lightning strikes twice for Antonis
Hyundai A-League defences have been warned. For the second match in a row, Terry Antonis has sized up his options outside the box and rifled in a low drive from distance.
The Melbourne Victory midfielder’s match-winner against Newcastle Jets on Saturday mirrored his Round 2 effort at home to Perth.
And with both strikes laid on by Keisuke Honda, Kevin Muscat looks to have struck a winning midfield formula.
Grant and Le Fondre shine in Sydney FC statement
It’s easy to forget that Rhyan Grant made his long-awaited comeback from an ACL injury in August’s FFA Cup match against Cairns.
Two months later, the Sydney FC fullback is turning in man of the match-winning Hyundai A-League performances.
Grant was involved in all three of the Sky Blues’ goals in Friday night’s 3-0 win over Melbourne City, while another two goals for teammate Adam Le Fondre made it a commanding evening for Steve Corica's side.
Debut goals for Baumjohann and O’Doherty as Babbel strikes midfield balance
Western Sydney Wanderers may have been short on stature in their midfield battle against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
But for what they lacked in physical dominance, midfield duo Alexander Baumjohann and Jordan O’Doherty compromised through invention and endeavour.
Both players capped excellent cameos with debut goals in Red and Black, and it appears Markus Babbel has found a midfield blueprint upon which he can mount the Wanderers’ title assault.