Hyundai A-League Team of the Week - Round 7

In a drama-filled week of Hyundai A-League action, 17 goals were scored and only one clean sheet kept. Now it's time to name our 11 star players.

Attacking players shone in Melbourne City's 3-2 win at Western Sydney Wanderers, while Sydney FC and Adelaide United put on a show in their respective 3-1 rivalry triumphs. 

Wellington Phoenix got off the mark in impressive fashion and Central Coast Mariners notched their first home win of the campaign.

Let's take a look at the line-up as a-league.com.au writers pick the Round 7 Team of the Week. 

Goalkeeper

Mark Birighitti (Central Coast Mariners)

Birighitti was the star for Central Coast on Sunday as they not only notched their first home win of the season but also ended a 38-match run without a clean sheet.

His first half saves to deny Alessandro Diamanti and Dario Jertec kept his side in the contest and ultimately enabled them to capitalise early in the second half.

Then, looking to defend the lead, Birighitti continued to stand tall with a crucial stop to deny Besart Berisha’s header, before keeping his defenders organised to hold out against the opposition’s late charge to salvage a point.

WATCH: Mark Birighitti's heroics helped Central Coast Mariners shut out Western United.

Defenders

Michael Jakobsen (Adelaide United)

As Adelaide’s attacking stars continue to write the headlines, their captain Michael Jakobsen is putting in excellent shifts at the back, much like the one he delivered against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.

The Dane did his best to limit the impact of Victory’s heavy artillery of attacking weapons, winning five out of six duels on the night and making 11 clearances in a particularly composed and dominant display in the heart of the Reds defence.

Adelaide United defender Michael Jakobsen was a rock at the back for the Reds in the Original Rivalry match against Melbourne Victory.
Adelaide United defender Michael Jakobsen was a wall in the Original Rivalry match against Melbourne Victory.

Steven Taylor (Wellington Phoenix)

Wellington’s defensive rock Steven Taylor showed his value in both attack and defence against Brisbane in a first-half display which won his side the game.

Taylor scored the opening goal of the game, ghosting in at the back post to rise highest in a pack of defenders to head home his first goal of the 2019/20 campaign.

Not long after, Taylor was down the other end doing what he does best: keeping the ball out of the Phoenix net.

With a certain goal on the cards for Roar attacker Jordan Courtney-Perkins, Taylor made a stunning save on the goal-line to deny the visitors an equaliser and set the ‘Nix on the path to their first Hyundai A-League win this season.


Ziggy Gordon (Central Coast Mariners)

The flame-haired Scot has quickly built a cult following amongst the Mariners faithful in his first season in Gosford and his reputation only strengthened with his role in ending his side’s long-lasting clean sheet drought.

Switched into central defence for the clash with Western United, he proved as tireless as ever in keeping first Besart Berisha, and then Scott McDonald, quiet alongside central defensive partner Kye Rowles.

His clearance off the line to Andrew Durante’s first half header was the stand-out moment but his eight clearances and three interceptions were the bread-and-butter that clean sheets are made of.

Ziggy Gordon
Ziggy Gordon switched from full-back to centre-back but barely put a foot wrong in the Mariners' upset against Western United.

Midfielders

Ulises Dávila (Wellington Phoenix)

Wellington creator Ulises Dávila had a superb outing against the Roar, scoring one goal and assisting another in a display which showcased all of his skill, creativity and cutting edge.

Dávila assisted Steven Taylor’s goal early in the game with a cross from a well-worked set piece, and his early impact was a sign of things to come.

The Mexican scored his fourth goal of the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League campaign on Saturday afternoon; a delightful low-curler off his un-preferred left peg which nestled into the bottom corner from long range.

WATCH: The Mexican wonder strikes in Phoenix's first win of the season.

Riley McGree (Adelaide United)

Two more goals for Riley McGree continued the Aussie starlet’s phenomenal start to what is quickly becoming his breakout Hyundai A-League season.

McGree scored Adelaide’s first and third goals in another devastating attacking display from the Reds, as the Young Socceroo moved into second in the Golden Boot race on six goals.

McGree is proving to be the prime goal-scorer in Adelaide’s attacking quartet as he continues to produce the goods week in, week out.

WATCH: Riley McGree cannot stop scoring in a Reds jersey.

Josh Brillante (Melbourne City)

Brilliante has been given more of a license to get forward and he used that to great affect in his side’s win over the Wanderers.

While he still provides excellent work-rate and distribution in the middle of the park, Brillante also had an impact in attack and it paid off at Bankwest Stadium.

He stung the palms of Daniel Lopar with a fierce shot in the first-half before finding the net from Jamie Maclaren's cut back after the break in a brilliant all-round display.

WATCH: Brillante grabs his first goal in two years

Milos Ninkovic (Sydney FC)

He was adjudged best afield in the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League Grand Final, and Milos Ninkovic returned to haunt Glory in similar fashion in the rematch on Saturday night.

The Serbian playmaker earned his side an early penalty after drawing Diego Castro into a foul in the box, then compiled misery on the hosts by scoring the all-important third Sydney goal which sealed the result in the second half.

WATCH: Ninkovic comes back to haunt Perth Glory again.

Forwards

Jamie Maclaren (Melbourne City)

We’re running out of superlatives to describe Maclaren’s form in front of goal right now.

A quiet first-half against the Wanderers made way for a second-half double, and an assist, as City stayed top with a 3-2 win on Friday night.

It was the fourth time in a row Maclaren has scored at least two goals in a match – a Hyundai A-League record – taking his tally to nine for the season. Take a bow, Macca!

WATCH: Maclaren wins it at the death

Bruno Fornaroli (Perth Glory)

The Uruguyan marksman has continued his steady return to his best form after a record-breaking night at HBF Park.

Fornaroli scored a fantastic volley in the first half of the Grand Final rematch against Sydney FC which made him the fastest ever player to 50 Hyundai A-League goals.

Fornaroli’s hold-up play was at its best on a night where he laid 10 passes with an accuracy of 100%.

He looked likely to score all night taking a game-high six shots, and even found the net for a second time late on with a goal disallowed by a marginal off-side call.

WATCH: Bruno becomes the fastest Hyundai A-League player to 50 goals.

Kwame Yeboah (Western Sydney Wanderers) 

With marquee man Alex Meier starting on the bench, more attacking responsibility fell on the shoulders of Yeboah…and didn’t he deliver on Friday night!?

The pacy attacker caused City’s defence all sorts of problems and showed he had a predatory instinct in both of his goals.

Yeboah got himself in the right place at the right time to finish off excellent team moves, but ultimately it wasn’t enough as the Wanderers lost 3-2 to City at Bankwest Stadium.

WATCH: Yeboah completes his brace

Round 8 fixtures

Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory 
Date: Friday, 29 November
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT
Venue: AAMI Park
Tickets

Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners
Date: Saturday, 30 November
Kick-off: 5pm AEDT
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Tickets

Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers
Date: Saturday, 30 November
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Tickets

Western United v Sydney FC
Date: Sunday, 1 December
Kick-off: 4pm AEDT
Venue: GMHBA Stadium
Tickets

Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix
Date: Sunday, 1 December
Kick-off: 6pm AEDT
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Tickets