Hyundai A-League Team of the Week: Round 2
Who stood head and shoulders above the rest in Round 2?
After a thrilling round of action, we've assessed the contenders and opted for a 4-3-3 formation for this Round's Team of the Week.
Did we get our starting XI right for Round 2?
REPORT: Late Glory drama ruins Honda-inspired comeback
REPORT: Taylor's missed sitter highlights Roar, Phoenix stalemate
RE-LIVE: All the action and talking points from Sunday in the LIVE BLOG
WATCH FOR FREE: How to watch the Hyundai A-League LIVE and FREE
Liam Reddy (Perth Glory)
The evergreen Hyundai A-League veteran wound back the years in Perth Glory’s memorable 3-2 win over Melbourne Victory.
Kevin Muscat’s men ramped up the pressure in the second half but were kept at bay by the 37-year-old, who made four saves in total.
Reddy pulled off a strong parry to repel Keisuke Honda’s fierce drive, but the pick of the bunch was a stunning acrobatic leap to thwart a Kosta Barbouses volley from close range.
Kye Rowles (Central Coast Mariners)
The young right back was fronted against a star-studded Melbourne City attacking line up but turned in an excellent defensive performance in the Mariners' 1-1 draw on Saturday.
Rowles offered a tireless display down the right flank and produced some key blocks to keep City at bay.
SATURDAY RE-CAP: Sydney FC's derby delight, City held by Mariners
Shane Lowry (Perth Glory)
Perth were under the pump for much of their second half encounter with Victory on Sunday but prevailed in no small part to a superb defensive performance.
Of Tony Popovic’s formidably assembled central defensive trio, Shane Lowry stood out ahead of partners Tomislav Mrcela and Alex Grant, coming up with a match-high 11 clearances.
Glory’s defence has betrayed their chances of a Hyundai A-League title challenge in recent seasons, but the Western Australians will go far if Lowry and company can keep this up.
Jordan Elsey (Adelaide United)
It was a typically strong display from Jordan Elsey in Adelaide’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle Jets on Friday night.
The Reds centre half rescued his side on several occasions with some key tackles and interceptions – most notably a crucial first half intervention on Jason Hoffman to bail out partner Michael Jakobsen.
Jason Davidson (Perth Glory)
Davidson was fielded at left wing back in Glory’s thriller against Victory and for the second week running it was role he relished.
The former Caltex Socceroo played a vital part in Perth’s opening goal following his clever cross to the back post and looks to be thriving in Popovic’s new set up.
Vince Lia (Adelaide United)
The Hyundai A-League veteran turned in a workman like performance in the middle of the park in Adelaide’s stalemate with the Jets.
Lia got through a heap of work and apart from the Venezuelan’s opening goal, shackled Newcastle’s Ronny Vargas masterfully throughout.
Adelaide’s midfield workhorse posted a match-high six interceptions, highlighting his vital role in negating Ernie Merrick’s swashbuckling Jets outfit.
Keisuke Honda (Melbourne Victory)
He might have found himself on the losing side for the second week running, but Honda delivered another subtle masterclass in Victory’s defeat to Perth.
The Japanese play-maker was once again the heartbeat of Kevin Muscat’s side and oozed class in the centre of midfield.
Honda created another match-high six chances and registered two assists for Terry Antonis’ strike and Storm Roux’s header.
Alexander Baumjohann (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Western Sydney Wanderers’ Sydney Derby nightmare may have continued on Saturday night, but they’ll surely be able to find solace from the performance of Alexander Baumjohann.
Strong in the duel and mesmeric in the dribble, the German play-maker looks like a man whom compatriot Markus Babbel can build his Red and Black side around.
The 31-year-old created a match-high five chances on the night, with the highlight being a sublime reverse pass for Jaushua Sotirio in the first half.
Milos Ninkovic (Sydney FC)
The Serbian maestro was different class in Sydney FC’s Derby victory over Western Sydney Wanderers, and back to his near unplayable best.
At the home of cricket in Sydney, it was a Bradman-like display from Ninkovic, who was at the heart of all his side’s attacking moves and set up Alex Brosque’s match-sealing second after the break – his second assist in as many matches.
Eric Bautheac (Brisbane Roar)
Brisbane Roar were unable to break the deadlock in their 0-0 draw with Wellington Phoenix on Sunday afternoon but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.
Frenchman Eric Bautheac provided another example of why many are tipping him for a breakout year in Queensland this season with an incisive and classy display.
The play-maker popped up all over the pitch to pull the strings for Roar and left Phoenix defenders clutching at thin air on several occasions.
Adam Le Fondre (Sydney FC)
The Sydney FC marksman has now scored five goals in his last four competitive matches and looks among the leading contenders for the golden boot.
But it’s not just Le Fondre’s goals that are impressive. The Englishman’s running off the ball is a nightmare for defenders to deal with, and this was on fully display in Sydney FC’s Derby triumph.
He’s always looking to get in behind his marker, and is turning into a real leader at the front of Sydney FC’s attack.
COACH OF THE ROUND
Tony Popovic (Perth Glory)
Perth's win over Melbourne Victory might not have been how Tony Popovic envisaged it, but it could prove to be a landmark moment for the new Glory era.
Popovic's side flew out of the blocks early on at their manager’s behest to rock their opponents, and mustered a strong backs to the wall display in the second half before clinching the match in stoppage time with a vintage breakaway goal.
That sealed the first win of the Popovic era, and could be a sign of big things to come.