Hyundai A-League Team of the Week: Round 23
Some big wins, cracking goals and an upset in Perth during Round 23 of the Hyundai A-League with some eye-catching individual displays.
But which players deserve a spot in our Team of the Week?
We've assessed every match of the weekend and come up with an impressive looking side in a 4-3-3 formation.
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REPORT: Clinical Sydney FC ease past Roar in Brisbane
REPORT: Williams produces masterclass as Phoenix flex their muscles
REPORT: Riera wreaks havoc against toothless City
REPORT: Toivonen hits landmark goal
REPORT: Isaias' stunner enough for Reds to secure priceless win in Gosford
What do you make of our selections?
Lawrence Thomas (Melbourne Victory)
Restored to the starting side by Kevin Muscat, Thomas repaid his coach's decision with a man-of-the-match display in Perth.
The gloveman not only pulled off six massive saves in Victory's 2-0 win at HBF Park he also had to deal with 55 balls into the box from the home side.
But whatever Glory threw at Thomas, he had an answer to keep Victory's Premiership and top two hopes alive.
Aaron Calver (Sydney FC)
It took just 42 seconds for the young defender to justify Steve Corica’s decision to go with him to fill the Sky Blues’ void at centre-back.
Drafted in for the injured Ben Warland, Calver headed Sydney FC into the lead inside the first minute and then produced a solid defensive display to help them secure a vital win over Brisbane Roar.
While he may be on his way to Western United FC next season, Calver could play a vital role if Sydney FC are to go all the way this campaign.
Georg Niedermeier (Melbourne Victory)
The giant German centre-back showed all his Bundesliga experience to marshal Victory's defence against a Glory onslaught on Saturday night.
Niedermeier not only passed the ball at almost 83% accuracy but also made five clearances and won four one-on-one duels.
Easily the best game in Victory colours for the 33-year-old defender and Muscat will hope it's a sign of things to come with the Finals Series on the horizon.
Michael Jakobsen (Adelaide United)
While the Reds have had issues scoring goals lately, their defence has remained relatively solid thanks in large part to the Dane.
With Jordan Elsey out through injury, Jakobsen has taken on even greater responsibility in Adelaide's backline and his display against the Mariners was outstanding.
His organisation and desperation helped restrict to Gosford club to just a handful of opportunities, with the Reds securing a vital 1-0 win.
Raul Llorente (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Llorente may have had a relatively quiet 2018/19 campaign, in comparison to last season's heights, yet fans couldn't tell tonight following a stellar performance against Melbourne City.
The Spaniard set up Mitchell Duke for Western Sydney's second with a brilliant piece of defensive work and a killer pass.
Perhaps more impressively, Llorente kept English Premier League-winner Ritchie De Laet quiet all night, helping the Wanderers to their fourth win in six games.
Isaias (Adelaide United)
When the Reds needed something special, their skipper delivered.
Isaias not only scored the only goal of the game but also put in a typically effective and bullish performance in the middle of the park.
He made 75 passes at an accuracy rate of just under 90%, while he protected his back-four expertly at time.
Sarpreet Singh (Wellington Phoenix)
Returning from suspension for the clash with the Jets, the young playmaker displayed his full bag of tricks at Westpac Stadium.
It was his incisive pass that set-up David Williams’ opening goal inside the first 32 seconds, while his dribbling and ability to play out of tight spaces was impossible for Newcastle to handle.
And Singh put the icing on a very sweet cake for the home side with a peach of a goal late in the second half.
Milos Ninkovic (Sydney FC)
In a match that struggled to get going until early in the second half, the silky Serbian was a class above.
Pulled out a few tricks to create space and chances for his teammates, while his passing was top notch at an accuracy of more than 88%.
Just his presence ensured Roar's midfield were unable to have too much impact in Sydney FC's half, as the Sky Blues ran out 3-1 winners at Suncorp Stadium.
David Williams (Wellington Phoenix)
No Roy Krishna, no worries for the Phoenix as Williams stepped into the striking breach with aplomb.
It took less than a minute for Williams to start his master-class against the Jets, inspiring his side to a scintillating 4-1 win.
His eye-catching turn and powerful bending shot to complete his 'hatty' is a contender for the goal of the season!
Diego Castro (Perth Glory)
Glory might not have got the result on Saturday night but that wasn't because of Castro's performance.
The special Spaniard delivered another majestic 90 minutes in the west, at the heart of most of Glory's best moments.
Castro had the sell-out crowd in awe with some of his movements and passing, and on another night one of his four shots would have resulted in a goal.
Oriol Riera (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Oriol Riera grabbed his eighth and ninth goals of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season thanks to a penalty and well-taken finish.
And while his second of the night against Melbourne City was a neat touch, special mention must go to Alexander Baumjohann who, in the short space of time that he was on, produced the pass of the night.
Riera seems to have shaken the monkey off his back and is looking back in the form that made him one of the most threatening strikers in the league.
Coach of the Round
Kevin Muscat (Melbourne Victory)
Not many sides have been able to stop the Perth Glory juggernaut this season but Muscat masterminded a huge win for Victory on Saturday night.
The defending champions had a superb game-plan to shut-down Glory's big guns and his side did a great job to pull it off in front of a sellout crowd at HBF Park.
After two losses to Glory earlier this season, the win could also be a vital psychological boost for the Big V ahead of the Finals Series.