Hyundai A-League Team of the Week - Round 21
Western Sydney Wanderers pulled off the biggest result of the weekend, while Western United scored six of the best to re-ignite their Finals Series chances.
So how many players did those club’s contribute to this round’s Team of the week?
While they are sure to have a few members in the best eleven, there were plenty of other excellent performances as Melbourne Victory scored late to sink Adelaide United.
Newcastle Jets remain unbeaten under new boss Carl Robinson after their upset of Perth Glory while Melbourne City jumped back to second by edging past Brisbane Roar.
Read on to find out who made it in our 3-4-3 formation.
Paul Izzo (Adelaide United)
There were several show-stopping performances from the goalkeepers over the weekend and despite his side's 2-1 defeat to Melbourne Victory, Izzo's display stands out as the best.
The Reds gloveman was on top form in the first half - and he needed to be - amid a Victory onslaught following Kristian Opseth's opener.
Izzo made a super point-blank save to stop Andrew Nabbout from close range, showed brilliant reactions to get down and smother Marco Rojas' effort, and palmed away Elvis Kamsoba's near-post blast well.
Tim Hoogland (Melbourne Victory)
The German's 2019/20 Season has been ravaged by injuries but even when fit, Hoogland's ability to cover several roles across defence and midfield has been more of an encumbrance than an advantage.
There should be no more question marks regarding where the former Bundesliga man is best deployed now, after starring from right back in Victory's 2-1 win over Adelaide.
Despite scary moments in the second half, Hoogland controlled the game for Victory in possession with a game-high 86 touches. A brilliant arching delivery in the first should have been buried by Andrew Nabbout - one of three chances he created on the night.
Johnny Koutroumbis (Newcastle Jets)
After a streak of enigmatic performances at fullback earlier in the season, Koutroumbis looks at home as one of three central defenders afforded to Carl Robinson and the youngster perhaps even outshone Nigel Boogaard and Nikolai Topor-Stanley from a defensive standpoint in the Jets' 2-1 win over Perth.
In perhaps his most mature performance of the season, Koutroumbis successfully repelled the advances of the experienced and always dangerous Diego Castro and Bruno Fornaroli with several important tackles and key interceptions.
Dylan McGowan (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Strong and composed in defence, Dylan McGowan provided solidity in the heart of Western Sydney’s backline as they kept the league-leaders to a goalless performance in the Sydney Derby.
McGowan won 80% of his duels on the night, made eight clearances and two interceptions as the Wanderers successfully repelled wave after wave of Sky Blues attack before clinching a late winner.
Luke Brattan (Sydney FC)
Sydney FC’s Luke Brattan was among the best players on the park as his side fell to the Wanderers in the Sydney Derby on Friday night.
Brattan laid an equal game-high of 84 passes at 89.3% accuracy, creating three chances and lashing three shots on goal.
The Sky Blues played 301 more passes than their opponents as they controlled the bulk of possession and it was Brattan at the centre of it all; his presence in midfield allowed the Sky Blues to dominate the bulk of play despite his side coming away from the clash empty-handed.
DERBY REACTION: Last month ‘did take its toll’ on Sydney FC says Corica
Josh Brillante (Melbourne City)
Brillante’s continued his consistent form with another standout display at AAMI Park as City outlasted Roar 1-0.
The workhorse midfielder did it all, winning 100% of his duels, while he made four clearances, four interceptions and passed the ball at 81% accuracy.
But his biggest contribution came in the winning goal, hitting a sublime volley which cannoned onto the post and into the net off keeper Jamie Young.
Alessandro Diamanti (Western United FC)
Max Burgess may have stolen the headlines in Geelong but the United skipper was just as influential in his side’s return to form against the Mariners.
Diamanti had a team-high 82 touches with almost all of those top-quality and effective.
The Italian legend play a key role in three of his side’s six goals, and created five chances for the match, more than any other player.
Steven Ugarkovic (Newcastle Jets)
The midfielder has been seemingly reborn under new coach Carl Robinson in recent weeks and he delivered another telling performance to help his side end the Glory's unbeaten run.
At McDonald Jones Stadium his combinations with Angus Thurgate and Dimitri Petratos were razor sharp as he completed over 94% of his team best 73 passes across the 90 minutes, while he also also proved up for the fight off the ball by winning five of his dozen duels.
Andrew Nabbout (Melbourne Victory)
Nabbout was frustrated, battered and bruised in Victory's 2-1 win over Adelaide but he ultimately kept his club's Finals Series hopes alive with a moment of sheer brilliance.
Having spurned opportunities to equalise in the first half - and copped a nasty bruise over his left eye in a challenge with Adelaide's Michael Maria - Nabbout kept persisting and his determination paid off with a stoppage time sizzler that will go down as one of the goals of the season.
Will it be a turning point for Victory? Only time will tell.
Mitch Duke (Western Sydney Wanderers)
A single moment of individual brilliance from Mitch Duke proved enough to decide a tightly-contested Sydney Derby on Friday night.
Duke’s tenth goal of the season came from a perfectly weighted header which he dispatched on the back foot, generating enormous power to steer the ball past Andrew Redmayne in Sydney’s goal.
The Wanderers’ captain threw himself into a game-high 21 duels, sending four attempts towards goal on the night including the all-important header which won the game in the 81st minute of play.
DERBY REACTION: ‘He feels every moment’ – de Marigny hails ‘phenomenal’ Duke
Max Burgess (Western United FC)
Burgess had never scored in his previous 44 Hyundai A-League appearances but put that stat to bed in an amazing 19-minute period against the Mariners.
The previously barren attacker scored not once, not twice, but three times in the first half as his side thrashed Central Coast 6-2 in Geelong.
The goals capped a man-of-the-match display from Burgess, who rewarded coach Mark Rudan for putting him back in the starting XI this week.
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