Hyundai A-League Team of the Week - Round 20
Sydney FC extended their lead to 13 points at the top of the Hyundai A-League while Western Sydney Wanderers produced a five-star display to thrash Adelaide United.
So did the Sydney club’s dominate the best XI for Round 20?
Wellington Phoenix were also ultra-impressive in their disposal of Western United FC on Friday, while there was no separating Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory, and Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory in their clashes on Saturday.
Read on to find out who made it in our 4-4-2 formation.
Filip Kurto (Western United FC)
Western United fell to a 2-0 defeat against Wellington Phoenix on Friday afternoon, but if not for their Polish custodian that loss would have been a complete annihilation.
Wellington sent shot after shot in Kurto’s direction throughout the 90 minutes; he faced nine shots on target from both close range and from afar, saving seven of them to keep his side in the game until their resolve was eventually broken late in the game.
Kurto’s saves were equally as important as they were impressive; a number of acrobatic, reflex saves early in the piece summed up Kurto’s magnificent night against his former side.
Liberato Cacace (Wellington Phoenix)
Wellington’s marauding full back had a game to remember against Western United, tirelessly bombing up and down the left flank in a 90-minute display in which his first-half goal provided the real difference in Wellington’s 2-0 win.
Just before the half hour mark Cacace opened the scoring with a deft volley off the inside of his boot which beat United’s goalkeeper Kurto – who seemed an impenetrable wall at the time – to put Wellington into the lead.
From that point Cacace dug in defensively to contribute to his side’s clean sheet, winning eight of his ten duels making six clearances, two interceptions while continuing to cause United all sorts of problems with his attacking runs throughout the contest.
Macaulay Gillesphey (Brisbane Roar)
Macaulay Gillesphey came up clutch when his side needed it most to score his first goal for Brisbane Roar and draw his side level with Perth Glory late in their contest on Saturday afternoon.
Gillesphey made three clearances as part of a defensive line which kept the ever-dangerous Glory attack largely at bay, soaking up early pressure and eventually landing a counter blow late in the piece when Gillesphey ambled forward for a corner routine.
The English defender rose higher than all-comers to head home an equaliser with just five minutes to play to ensure his side kept their unbeaten run going.
Bruce Kamau (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Playing as a right wing-back, Kamau was everywhere for the Wanderers in a 5-2 win on Friday night, creating chance after chance for both himself and his teammates using his blistering pace as a dangerous weapon.
As the game opened up in the second half Kamau came into his own, making two marauding runs which led to two goals; the first of which was chalked offside, but if Nicolai Muller had managed to keep inline with the Reds' defence he would have received credit for a phenomenal run from his own defensive box in which he took on five Adelaide players to serve the ball on a plate for Muller to tuck home.
After Muller's goal was ruled out Kamau came to the fore again to dribble through Adelaide's midfield and lay the ball to Cox, who took two bites at the cherry to eventually place the ball into the back of the net.
Alex Wilkinson (Sydney FC)
It wasn’t the Sky Blues’ most fluent attacking display of the season against the Mariners, but defensively they were resolute, especially their skipper.
Wilkinson again led by example in Gosford, coming up with a host of important blocks and tackles to make it a third straight clean sheet for Sydney FC.
‘Wilko’ won all seven of the duels he contested, while he made 11 clearances and passed with more than 90% accuracy.
Cameron Devlin (Wellington Phoenix)
As we grow accustomed to Wellington getting positive results week in, week out, we are getting similarly used to seeing Cameron Devlin's name in the Hyundai A-League Team of the Week.
The diminutive midfielder put in another consistent, sharp display making next to no errors with or without the ball as he combined with Matti Steinmann to boss the midfield in Wellington’s contest with United.
Devlin led all-comers in interceptions (four) and passes (87) with an accuracy of 92% as the Phoenix quashed the threat of United’s talented midfield unit; Devlin’s dirty work and controlled play in possession allowed the likes of Ulises Dávila, David Ball and Reno Piscopo to spark Wellington’s attack and guide the Phoenix to victory.
Diego Castro (Perth Glory)
Straight back into Tony Popovic's starting lineup after a two-game injury layoff, Diego Castro quickly dusted off the cobwebs and got back to his virtually unplayable best against Brisbane Roar.
All the vintage tricks, flicks, nutmegs and body feints were on show in his 90-minute display; he assisted Bruno Fornaroli's opening goal, had two shots of his own - both on target - and created a total of eight chances throughout the game.
Perth ultimately came away with just one point from the clash at Dolphin Stadium, but it wasn't through a lack of trying from their captain Castro.
Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets)
If there’s one player in the Jets side that seems to have a new lease of life since the appointment of Carl Robinson it’s Petratos.
The fringe Socceroo was again the liveliest player on the pitch as the Hunter club made it four games unbeaten with their 1-1 draw against Victory.
Petratos had an assist, created a game-high three scoring chances and almost won the match for Newcastle with a wicked free-kick in the second-half which went just wide.
Daniel De Silva (Central Coast Mariners)
He made have been on the wrong end of the result against his former club but De Silva was probably the most creative player on the pitch in Gosford.
No Mariners player had more touches of the ball than the 22-year-old, while he created a joint game-high three chances.
Some of De Silva’s touches and moves were scintillating and on another day he would have inspired the Mariners to victory.
Mitchell Duke (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Western Sydney’s captain was the standout performer in a manic six-goal first half in his side’s Friday night clash with Adelaide United.
The Wanderers went ahead, fell behind, then raced to a 4-2 lead in a manic opening 45 minutes of football against the Reds and it was Duke who hauled the Red and Black back into the lead, scoring the last two goals of the half to establish a commanding lead.
Duke was replaced in the second half with an injury niggle taking its toll, earning a well-deserved early bath after a match-winning display.
Roy O’Donovan (Newcastle Jets)
It wasn’t just the Irishman’s goal that earned him a spot amongst the competition’s best eleven this week.
O’Donovan’s all-round display typified just what coach Carl Robinson is trying to instil into his Jets squad since taking the reins on a three-and-a-half year deal.
He was always a willing runner trying to get in behind Victory’s defence, he defended from the front and also made a great near-post run and finish for his goal.