Heroic Moments: Newcastle's season kick-started by hometown hero
The Jets were getting desperate before Nick Cowburn's late rescue act in Saturday evening’s clash with Sydney FC.
Ernie Merrick’s side were staring down the barrel of another frustrating defeat at home, before an unlikely hero emerged in the dying minutes to save the day.
An impeccable sense of timing saw the Toronto Awaba junior salvage a point - and potentially a season kick-starter - with his maiden Hyundai A-League goal in what was his 60th appearance for the club.
And he wasn't the only man to break a duck over the weekend, with Mario Shabow, Alex Lopez and Jose Hope all on target for the first time in Round 4.
A first touch Mario Shabow will never forget
Mario Shabow will always remember his first Hyundai goal – but he didn’t know too much about it at the time.
The Mariners youngster inadvertently directed Ross McCormack’s shot past the wrong-footed Lawrence Thomas to get Central Coast on the board in Sunday’s defeat to Melbourne Victory.
Incredibly, it was the 20-year-old’s first touch in a Mariners kit after arriving into the match as a second-half substitute.
Hope, Toivonen team up for Victory
Shabow wasn’t the only rising Hyundai A-League star who had his name up in lights on Sunday, with young Victory midfielder Hope hitting his first goal, too.
The Tasmanian applied a cool finish at AAMI Park to add the icing to Victory's 4-1 triumph on his seventh top-flight appearance.
Hope's goal came courtesy of an assist from debutant Ola Toivonen, the Swedish striker freeing his team-mate with a smart pass.
Toivonen had been on the pitch for just over 10 minutes before his FIFA World Cup pedigree shone through.
Along with Hope, Kevin Muscat also introduced Rahmat Akbari off the bench for the ex-Brisbane Roar attacker's first appearance in a navy blue shirt.
Alex Lopez off the mark in fine style
Brisbane Roar had their backs against the wall for 37 minutes in their clash with Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.
Had it not been for a stroke of genius from their Spanish midfielder, John Aloisi’s side may have left Mudgee with less than a point to show for their efforts.
Lopez, who made a match high 59 passes on the day, opened his Hyundai A-League account with a powerful, rasping drive from distance.
That proved to be a match-saving moment for Roar – and a strike that changed the course of the game.
Lowry’s heroics illustrate a reformed Perth Glory
If there was a moment to underline Perth Glory’s newfound resilience under Tony Popovic, you don’t have to look any further than Shane Lowry’s desperate goal-saving block on Adelaide United’s Ben Halloran.
With Glory shielding a slender 1-0 advantage in the 80th minute of Sunday’s match, Lowry made a sensational flying block at the very last moment as the Adelaide forward pulled the trigger.
Glory would go on to seal the match on the cusp of stoppage time through Christopher Ikonomidis, but were indebted to a colossal performance from their formidable centre-half.
Perth have averaged three goals conceded per game in the past two Hyundai A-League seasons, but with Shane Lowry in this kind of form the Glory defence is a different prospect this season.
Right place, right time yet again
The last time Perth Glory finished a Hyundai A-League Round top of the table, Andy Keogh was on the scoresheet in a 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory.
Over three years on from that Round 20 clash in March 2015, Keogh illustrated his penalty box prowess again as his opener against Adelaide sent Glory to the top.
It wasn’t a strike that will go down in the history books, but the Irishman now has four goals in as many Hyundai A-League matches, and is a worthy spearhead of Glory’s renaissance.
Tarek Elrich’s milestone moment
Western Sydney Wanderers defender Tarek Elrich became just the eighth Hyundai A-League player to bring up 250 Hyundai A-League games on the weekend.
An inaugural Wanderers player, Elrich made 134 outings for Newcastle Jets and 101 matches for Adelaide United before running out in Red and Black for the 15th time against Brisbane Roar.
Kamau announces himself as a Wanderers player
Wanderers fans were left frustrated after letting a two-goal lead slip against Brisbane Roar on Saturday.
But the performance of Bruce Kamau will be one of several positives to emerge for Markus Babbel’s side.
Kamau played a part in Oriol Riera’s opener after hitting the crossbar, before winning a penalty after a jinking dart into the area.