Hyundai A-League Team of the Week: Round 7
Wellington Phoenix's stunning upset of Sydney FC dominated headlines over the weekend and sees them well represented in our latest Hyundai A-League Team of the Week.
There were big moves made at the top, too, as Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory broke further clear thanks in large part to two key attacking aces.
We've assembled the top individual performers into an attacking 3-4-3 formation - read on to discover our best XI for Round 7!
RUDAN: 'Maybe they underestimated us'
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Glen Moss (Newcastle Jets)
Though he enjoyed a largely comfortable afternoon on Sunday, there should be no underestimating Moss’ influence on Newcastle’s 2-0 win over Brisbane Roar.
The experienced gloveman - who produced three stops in total - richly deserved his second clean sheet in three matches if for nothing else than the reflex save that denied Eric Bautheac what looked certain to be a first-half opener.
Steven Taylor (Wellington Phoenix)
Taylor put in an outstanding shift against Sydney FC, marshalling Wellington’s back-line alongside Andrew Durante and ensuring Adam Le Fondre was kept quiet, while making a game-high 10 clearances as Phoenix came under scrutiny in the second half.
Taylor’s defining moment arrived in the 38th minute when he rose above Jop van der Linden to thunder a header into the Sydney FC net and give Wellington an unassailable three-goal advantage.
Patrick Ziegler (Western Sydney Wanderers)
It’s no coincidence that the German centre-back’s return coincided with the Wanderers keeping just their second clean sheet of the season.
He might have been sidelined for almost three months with a knee injury but Ziegler didn’t miss a beat in the 2-0 win over Central Coast Mariners.
Ziegler made a game-high 17 clearances and won seven individual duels in a brilliant defensive display.
Daniel Georgievski (Newcastle Jets)
There were no surprises when Kaine Sheppard ran straight for Daniel Georgievski after putting the Jets ahead on Sunday.
The right-back had laid the Englishman's first Hyundai A-League goal on a platter with a pinpoint right-sided cross in first-half stoppage time.
Georgievski would have grabbed another assist had Ronny Vargas not headed against the post after the interval, but eight clearances and a team-high 75 touches underscored his contribution.
Alexander Baumjohann (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Another classy showing from another of the Wanderers’ German contingent.
In an – at times – stodgy game against the Mariners, Baumjohann lit-up Spotless Stadium with his skilful touches, vision and defence-splitting passes.
Mike Mulvey’s side simply had no answer as the home side secured a vital win.
Michal Kopczynski (Wellington Phoenix)
With Sydney FC struggling to break down Phoenix, they took the game to the air. Shielding the back line, Kopczynski dominated, winning 13 aerial duels – the next closest player in the game won nine.
The Polish battler’s tireless play in the second half ensured Phoenix continually broke up Sydney FC’s play and the visitors were able to close out a memorable 3-1 victory over the Sky Blues.
Isaias (Adelaide United)
The Reds midfielder put in an admirable performance in his side's 2-0 loss to Melbourne Victory.
Isaias was as solid as ever in defence, winning eight duels and both of his required tackles, while registering an accuracy of 86 per cent from 50 passes.
The Spaniard is an inspirational leader in the middle of the park and worked tirelessly in his efforts to chase the game for Adelaide.
Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets)
As he so often is, playmaker Petratos was the primary architect of Newcastle's best moments at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The Caltex Socceroo kept former club Brisbane guessing from start to finish as he delivered a game-high five key passes, won four fouls and exuded composure on the counter-attack in providing the assist for Jair's sealer.
Roy Krishna (Wellington Phoenix)
He may have only played 59 minutes but the damage had been done. Krishna had four shots on goal – two from outside the box which worked the goalkeeper, two from inside the box which were goals.
After becoming Phoenix’s all-time leading scorer, Krishna received his New Zealand citizenship and capped a sensational week with a match-winning display against the Premiers.
Ola Toivonen (Melbourne Victory)
The Sweden international entered the Hyundai A-League as a bit of mystery to fans, but anyone who watched the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ would have seen a glimpse of what Melbourne Victory were gaining.
Toivonen was all class against Adelaide United, registering five shots, three of those on target including a goal.
The 32-year-old made a nuisance of himself all night is a worthy addition to complement Keisuke Honda, Terry Antonis and Kosta Barbarouses.
Diego Castro (Perth Glory)
He’s clearly lacking some of the sharpness which comes with regular football, but Castro has already started producing glimpses of the magic which makes him Glory’s talisman.
The Spanish master’s silky touch and vision to unlock a defence were certainly present against Melbourne City. With Tony Popovic unleashing him in a central role with freedom to drift across the nib Stadium pitch, expect Castro to grow in stature even more as he gets fitter.
Coach of the Round
Mark Rudan (Wellington Phoenix)
A Sydney FC legend and Hall of Famer, Rudan left no room for sentiment while facing off against his old team for the first time as a coach.
A disciplined display from a well-drilled backline set the tone for the hard-working midfield to spring chances for Phoenix’s speedy attackers in a 3-1 triumph at Jubilee Oval.
Two through balls exploited the Sky Blues’ high defensive line and the rest of the unit shut down the reigning Premiers to protect Phoenix’s young goalkeeper, Oliver Sail, and execute an excellent tactical game plan.