Hyundai A-League Team of the Week: Round 4
Who stood head and shoulders above the rest in Remembrance Round?
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 4?
SUNDAY: Glory go top, Honda leads Victory rout
SATURDAY: Brisbane stage impressive fightback, Cowburn rescues Newcastle
FRIDAY: De Laet, Fornaroli on target as City cruise past Phoenix
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Filip Kurto (Wellington Phoenix)
Wellington Phoenix failed to pick up a result in Friday night’s 2-0 loss to Melbourne City, but Filip Kurto demonstrated he’ll be crucial in earning the New Zealanders points this season.
Phoenix’s Pole in goal pulled off five saves in total to prevent City from furthering their margin of victory, with a fine one on one stop from Bruno Fornaroli in the first half the pick of the bunch.
Kurto also denied Riley McGree’s long-range strike with an impressive low dive late on in what was the 27-year-old’s best performance in the Hyundai A-League to date.
Ritchie De Laet (Melbourne City)
Bruno Fornaroli might ultimately edge him in the Golden Boot race, but Ritchie De Laet is proving he will be just as important as Melbourne City’s talisman forward in the club’s quest for silverware this season.
The Belgian defender’s textbook drive sent City on their way to a dominant 2-0 display against Phoenix in Round 4’s curtain-raiser, in which De Laet was yet again among the standout players for Warren Joyce’s side.
Imposing in both the physical duel and when galloping forward down the right flank, the Premier League medal winner is offering City a leadership presence they have often lacked in recent times.
Shane Lowry (Perth Glory)
Shane Lowry has made a rock-solid start to the campaign and the Glory defender was in a class of his own in Perth's 2-0 win over Adelaide.
The 29-year-old made two interceptions and six clearances to help his side repel the danger of United in their much-anticipated encounter on Sunday.
A sensational last-ditch block on Ben Halloran late in the day epitomised the newfound grit and guts the Glory are currently playing with.
Alex Grant (Perth Glory)
Like his centre-half partner, Alex Grant was a colossal presence at the back in his side's statement win in the City of Churches.
Grant won a huge seven of his nine duels, made three interceptions, won all three of his tackles and had a match high seven clearances to his name.
He'll even pick up an assist for Andy Keogh's opener after forcing Paul Izzo into a reflex save to repel his bullet header into the path of the Irishman.
Jop van der Linden (Sydney FC)
Sydney FC’s Dutch centre half is beginning to find his feet in the Hyundai A-League, and his formidable showing against the Jets on Saturday night illustrated his quality.
Van der Linden made three interceptions and two clearances on the night and stood tall alongside Alex Wilkinson to repel Newcastle’s attacking force.
He might have conceded the foul that led to the Jets late equaliser, but after some nervy moments in his Sky Blues debut in Round 1, van der Linden now looks an assured presence in Sydney FC’s defence.
Keisuke Honda (Melbourne Victory)
The superlatives are running out for Victory's Japanese play-maker - and we're only in November.
Keisuke Honda got on the score-sheet again and led Victory to a handsome 4-1 win over Central Coast Mariners on Sunday, in a performance that ranks as the club's best of the season.
The Japanese star laid on four chances and was typically industrious in the middle third as Kevin Muscat's team swept the Mariners aside.
Alex Lopez (Brisbane Roar)
Brisbane Roar look to have acquired a superb midfield talent in Alex Lopez.
The Spaniard's artistry was laid bare as he orchestrated Roar's comeback draw against the Wanderers.
Lopez first opened his Hyundai A-League account with a low drive from distance, while no other player in the match made more passes than Lopez's 59.
Florin Berenguer (Melbourne City)
Melbourne City’s French recruit has made a modest start to his Hyundai A-League career.
But if Florin Berenguer is to fulfil his potential on Australian shores, he might look back at Friday night’s display against Wellington Phoenix as a pivotal moment.
The 29-year-old pulled the strings and showcased an explosive dribbling ability as City cruised past the Phoenix, with Berenguer creating two chances and seeing a maiden Hyundai A-League goal written off by Tom Doyle’s goal-line clearance.
Andy Keogh (Perth Glory)
Four games, four goals for Perth's Irish front man.
It wasn't the prettiest showing from the veteran striker, nor will his opening goal against Adelaide live long in the memory.
But Keogh's tireless work ethic and persistence at Coopers Stadium proved the difference on the occasion, and is the type of quality that could drag Perth to silverware.
James Troisi (Melbourne Victory)
James Troisi ran the show during Melbourne Victory's 4-1 thumping of the Mariners.
At times the Victory attacker toyed with his Central Coast opposition, driving at the Mariners defence with guile and splitting the visitors open with an array of delicate passes.
A well-finished chip over Ben Kennedy in the opening half brought up his first goal of the season, and it was richly deserved.
Oriol Riera (Western Sydney Wanderers)
On another day, Oriol Riera might have emerged from Saturday's draw with Brisbane as a hat-trick hero in an impressive rout.
Regardless, the Spanish marksman's two-goal salvo against the Roar underlined Riera's near-unparalleled penalty box ability.