Heroic Moments: Bigger picture enhances Troisi's match-winning statement of intent
Players of true talent prove their weight in gold during times of adversity, and the adage rings true for James Troisi.
Some may have wondered how the Melbourne Victory midfielder would respond to the disappointment of his AFC Asian Cup omission - a blow many players may have wilted under.
Not only dealing with the injured Keisuke Honda absent from the Victory midfield but also facing life-changing events in his family life - there has been an immense level of scrutiny levelled on the former Juventus prospect in recent weeks.
It has then been a commendable mark of Troisi’s character that the 30-year-old has buried any doubts over his ability to perform with such a burdensome weight on his shoulders.
In fact, one might reason that Troisi has raised his game several notches in response.
Certainly, the midfielder was of essential value to the reigning champions in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat of Newcastle Jets, in which Troisi inspired the first Victory goal and smashed in an 84th-minute winner with deadly accuracy.
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Narrow late victories such as these can often be relegated to a distant memory in title-winning seasons, which would not provide an accurate reflection on the match-winning contribution Troisi made on an evening of crucial importance.
With Troisi set to become a father in July, perhaps there was no better time for him to issue a statement of intent on the pitch – and deliver a grounding reminder of how it all pales into insignificance compared to life off it.
“We’ve got a baby on the way in July and [wife Bronte] is always in the stands supporting me. For me that's what its all about – family,” Troisi told Melbourne Victory’s official website.
“It’s an exciting time and good that [in my] personal life and professional life things are going quite well.”
Birthday boy Redmayne’s incredible last-ditch intervention
One wonders how a goalkeeper can maintain full concentration for 90 minutes plus stoppage time.
Had Andrew Redmayne dropped his focus on Sunday afternoon, Sydney FC would have certainly dropped two points at home.
As it was, Redmayne – on his 30th birthday no less – came up with a superhuman close-range stop to deny Ryan Kitto an equalising goal in the very last passage of the Sky Blues’ 2-1 win.
How important a moment that could prove to be in the defence of Sydney FC’s Premiership.
Another landmark for Wilko
Alex Wilkinson became the ninth player in Hyundai A-League history to reach the milestone of 250 games in Sydney FC’s win over Adelaide.
It’s no secret that the FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup Socceroo Wilkinson’s serial winning mentality has been a crucial part of the Sky Blues’ recent dominance – indeed, his 121st win on the day is the second most of any player in the competition.
300: Rise of the Phoenix empire
Wilkinson still has some way to go in order to eclipse the achievement of Andrew Durante however.
Wellington’s inspirational skipper played his 300th Hyundai A-League match in Phoenix’s 3-2 win over Central Coast Mariners – the first ever player to reach that milestone.
Krishna steals Durante’s thunder
However, as it proved, Durante’s colossal achievement was overshadowed by the match-sealing heroics of Roy Krishna.
Five years to the date of his Hyundai A-League debut, Krishna won and dispatched two penalties and laid on David Williams’ winner in what could be a crowning moment for the Fijian flyer.
Aspropotamitis offers bright side for Mariners
It is hard to find cheer in Gosford at the moment, but the return of Jonathan Aspropotamitis will have drawn welcome smiles on the Central Coast.
The 22-year-old made his first Hyundai A-League start for the Mariners, 342 days after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.
That made it two incredible comebacks on the evening, as Phoenix came from two goals down to defeat the Mariners 3-2.
Persistence pays off for budding marksman Majok
If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying – that’s how Abraham Majok was rewarded with his first professional goal in Western Sydney Wanderers’ defeat to Perth Glory.
Majok has struggled to combine his pace and skill with lethal finishing ability when given the chances this season.
He even missed a chance in the first half which was near identical to the one he so clinically put away to hand the Wanderers their short-lived ecstasy.
Wanderers down but not out as kids show bright future
When it’s not going your way, it’s just not going your way.
And while the pain of Western Sydney’s 4-3 capitulation to Perth Glory may linger temporarily, the future – perhaps even in the short term – looks bright for Markus Babbel’s side.
The German fielded five players under 23 years of age for the Wanderers, including a Hyundai A-League debut for defender Tass Mourdoukoutas.
Western Sydney finished the match with five academy graduates on the field, and with the immense Kwame Yeboah now in their ranks, the Wanderers are surely close to turning a corner.