Heroic Moments: Relentless Roy masters the all-round forward display
Mark Rudan has continually adorned the principle of team spirit during Wellington Phoenix’s historic nine-match unbeaten run.
But the New Zealanders might soon have a case for silverware contention on the back of Roy Krishna’s barnstorming individual performances alone.
Hyundai A-League records continue to tumble at the feet of the Phoenix flyer, who joined Esala Masi as the equal highest scoring Fijian in Australian national league football history thanks to his brace in Sunday’s 3-3 thriller with Melbourne Victory.
Krishna also became the first player in competition history to score multiple goals in three consecutive matches on the occasion, and now stands alongside Adam Le Fondre with a goal tally of 11 for the season.
It was goal number 10 - a thunderously dispatched penalty he himself won with a canny piece of striking play in the box - that epitomised the swagger Krishna is currently playing with.
Phoenix’s premiere marksman has now scored six goals in 15 days, but his goal scoring exploits should not overshadow the largely outstanding contribution Krishna makes in Wellington’s all-round play.
Not only does the 31-year-old possess the strength and deftness of touch to serve as a 1.7 metre focal point for his side, but he offers the lightning pace upon which Mark Rudan’s side have constructed some of the competition’s best counter-attacking football witnessed this season.
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Best performers from Round 14
TALKING POINTS: Victory show mark of Champions in Hyundai A-League game of the season
WATCH FOR FREE: How to watch the Hyundai A-League LIVE and FREE
Krishna is simply a relentless hurricane of action, evidenced again in Phoenix’s draw against the reigning Champions, in which he contested an incredible 26 duels – only once in Hyundai A-League history has a Wellington player made more.
He also took the most shots (6) of any player, created three chances and produced more touches of the ball than teammate and midfield conductor Mandi.
Is the Fijian the best player in the Hyundai A-League at the moment?
The timely Deng intervention that sparked Victory’s equaliser
Victory’s six-goal thriller with Phoenix was so absorbing it veiled a litany of remarkable moments.
And perhaps one of the most significant was a clutch sliding tackle pulled off by defender Thomas Deng.
Deng showed his remarkable recovery speed to reel in Wellington forward Cillian Sheridan and timed his challenge inside the box to perfection as the Irishman let fly.
Perth finally shut out thanks to Delbridge desperation
Deng wasn’t the only Melbourne-based defender to demonstrate top-class recovery pace on the AAMI Park surface this weekend.
Indeed, it was also another goal-bound Irishman in Andy Keogh who Harrison Delbridge denied with a heroic desperation lunge in Saturday’s stalemate between Melbourne City and Perth Glory.
In a match of few chances, Delbridge's intervention stood out as a moment of inspirational quality – and one defensive act which helped City become the first team to keep Perth scoreless this season.
Topor-Stanley has Durante in his sights
Newcastle Jets’ 1-0 loss to Sydney FC was no cause for celebration, but it did mark another page in the incredible Hyundai A-League career of Nikolai Topor-Stanley.
The defender made his 279th appearance in the competition in the narrow Kogarah defeat, moving into outright second on the all-time appearance list.
Topor-Stanley trails triple-centurion Andrew Durante by 22, but with the Jets veteran still only 33 years of age, it seems he's got time to haul in the Phoenix captain.
Bonevacia winds back the clock
Roly Bonevacia has always had a quality strike in his Hyundai A-League locker.
And while Western Sydney Wanderers fans have not been treated to long-range special as frequently as former employers Wellington Phoenix, they’ll hope Friday’s exquisite free-kick signals a return to the Bonevacia of old.
Millar shows Mariners the way forward
Matt Millar has been the silver lining in a season that has been shrouded in cloud for the Central Coast Mariners.
The former Melbourne City man was plucked from NPL Victoria outfit South Melbourne in pre-season, and remarkably stands as one of the signings of the campaign despite the Mariners’ struggles.
Millar scored the first of what should be many more Hyundai A-League goals in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar, a result and performance which has stirred optimism in Gosford again.