Heroic Moments: The Honda masterstroke behind Barbarouses’ deadly form
Kosta Barbarouses is one of the Hyundai A-League’s hottest properties at the moment – and it could all be down to a sportsman-like gesture from teammate Keisuke Honda.
Barbarouses’ two superbly-taken goals were among the biggest highlights from Victory’s commanding 4-2 win over Brisbane Roar on Friday night.
A fortnight earlier, the Kiwi was still trying to open his account. That was until Honda relinquished his penalty duties against Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 6 so Barbarouses could get off the mark.
That is proving to be a stroke of genius from the Japanese legend.
“Usually I take it but you know, I don't mind who scores," Honda had said.
"(What's) important is the team win. And I thought Kosta needs a goal in this moment for the future."
It’s hard to remember such a dramatic upsurge in fortunes. Since that moment, Barbarouses has tallied another three goals and one assist, and the quality of his finishes against Roar showcased a player with supreme confidence in front of goal.
It points toward the impact Honda is having on the Victory dressing room as well as on the pitch.
"That was Keisuke being a good guy and letting me get off the mark for the season," he said.
"That's leadership stuff. He wants me to take it to get off the mark and get a bit of confidence in front of goal, so that was really good of him."
Fastest Hyundai A-League goal denied by Liam Reddy
A decisive intervention from Liam Reddy after just 14 seconds kept Perth Glory riding high at the Hyundai A-League summit.
The 37-year-old Hyundai A-League veteran pulled off a stunning reflex save to deny Jair his second goal for the Jets.
It is upon moments like these that the Glory are building their menacing title assault. Just seconds after Reddy’s reflexes, Joel Chianese won a penalty duly converted by Neil Kilkenny.
Reddy – who had only faced 14 shots in total prior to the match with the Jets – produced six saves all up in the Hunter Valley to return Tony Popovic’s side back to the top.
Galekovic winds back the clock in Adelaide
Back at the club for whom he made his name, Eugene Galekovic was in vintage form for Melbourne City against Adelaide.
The highlight of his night was a strong stop from Reds’ defender Scott Galloway to preserve City’s two-goal advantage midway through the second half.
Galekovic amassed 242 appearances across all competitions for United – and it was an intervention to rival many of the veteran shot stopper’s best in a Reds shirt.
Antonis pulls out the tricks in Victory win
Terry Antonis is a proven match winner for Kevin Muscat’s side but has taken a backseat role in recent weeks with Ola Toivonen and Kosta Barbarouses stealing the goalscoring acclaim.
But the former Sydney FC midfielder is looking every bit as sharp as his more celebrated teammates.
A backheel nutmeg during the build up to Toivonen’s goal on in Victory’s win over Roar was evident of the confidence he is playing with.
Alex Brosque becomes Sydney Derby king
Saturday’s Sydney Derby was flagged as a potential power shift for the Western Sydney Wanderers. Not on Alex Brosque’s watch.
The Hyundai A-League veteran became the leading goal scorer in the fixture through a timely equalising strike in first half stoppage time.
That was Sydney FC’s 700th competitive goal, and Brosque’s fifth strike against the Red and Black.
Davidson’s maiden Hyundai A-League goal extra special
Jason Davidson has been a big part of Perth Glory’s start to the season, and against the Jets the Australian fullback grabbed his maiden Hyundai A-League strike.
That sent Glory on their way to back to back clean sheets for the first time since March 2016.
And the goal had added significance for Davidson, who dedicated the strike to his grandfather, who recently passed away.
Fenton back on the scoresheet with aplomb
When Louis Fenton grabbed Wellington Phoenix's opener against Central Coast Mariners, the midfielder celebrated like it was his first ever goal.
And while it might not have been his first, it definitely was his first in a long time.
So long, in fact, that the last time Fenton scored a Hyundai A-League goal was back on 26 February, 2016 against Melbourne City.
Or, in other words, that's 1,023 days since a Fenton strike bulged the net.
Jacob Tratt's dream Derby goal
Finally – five years after first signing for his hometown club – Jacob Tratt made his maiden Sydney FC start in the club's weekend derby win.
The former youth team skipper was signed as an injury replacement player and was rushed into the team late as Alex Wilkinson withdrew due to illness.
He could hardly have envisaged a better way to mark his tale of persistence. Tratt hammered in a bullet header from Brandon O’Neill’s cross late on to seal Sydney’s 11th win over the Wanderers in their past 16 matches in all competitions.