Jamie Maclaren scored a vital winner, Glory stunned Victory and AAMI Park had another night of drama (including the Mariners arriving late to the stadium). Plenty to discuss from Round 16 in the Hyundai A-League.
Liam Reddy the penalty-saving supremo
On evidence of this season you would have to say yes.
The Glory gloveman again came up big for his side against Victory on Saturday, denying Besart Berisha from the penalty spot with a stunning save. While the Albanian did get one past Reddy from a penalty after the break, the keeper’s earlier heroics allowed the home side to come back and record a 2-1 win. Reddy has now saved three penalties this season – remember the two from Bruno Fornaroli against City – and his record throughout his Hyundai A-League career is exceptional. Reddy has made seven saves from 20 penalties for a save rate of 35%.
He is the boss!
Kenny the undisputed King of the one-liner
Kenny Lowe's post-match analysis on the weekend included this gem. "“If we chucked Nebo [midfielder Nebojsa Marinkovic] in [attack] it would be like wagons in a circle for our back four. It would be like a scene from Zulu, they would be coming over the hill at them" He also described one journo's line of questioning as "bollocks" in the post-match presser. Almost as good was Mariners coach Paul Okon, describing a mistake by his team at AAMI Park as a "Mariners Moment".
Mariners aced by tennis traffic
Next time you're complaining about traffic, have some sympathy for the Mariners. It took them 90 minutes to go four kilometres from Melbourne's CBD to AAMI Park last Thursday night, tweeted Fox Sports Football's Murray Shaw, with the Australian Open tennis blamed for the bumper to bumper traffic around the sporting precinct. Okon's men arrived 30 minutes before kick off. Perhaps the tram is an option next January?
Fittest team in Hyundai A-League history?
For those at Allianz last Friday night, the humidity around kick off was unbearable. The fact that Sydney FC ran over the top of the Reds showed again their almost super-human fitness. Strength and conditioning guru Andrew "Clarkey" Clarke is the man who's got the Sky Blues to another level of endurance. We cannot think of another side in league history that is this fit.
Cahill’s form a bonus for City and Caltex Socceroos
Melbourne City recorded a much-needed win on Thursday night, thanks mainly to the performance of Tim Cahill. The veteran talisman scored both goals – including a trademark header - in the victory over Central Coast Mariners as City consolidated third spot on the ladder. The brace takes the 37-year-old’s tally to seven for the season, including four in his last five matches. With the season heading towards is business end, Cahill’s class is now coming to the fore. It’s sensational news not only for City and their title hopes but also Caltex Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou, with March’s crucial FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Iraq and UAE fast approaching.