Pick that out! Four screamers scored in box office A-League double-header
What a way to start the new year.
Fireworks filled the sky in Gosford on Thursday night as the A-League's final game of 2020 put a full stop on the year that was, but two days later those fireworks continued to explode as four goals of the highest calibre were scored across two games in what was an enthralling evening of football.
An audacious free-kick, a long range bullet, a classy curler and an electric solo run all led to memorable goals of the highest order which fans were treated to in one mammoth serving of A-League entertainment, to kick 2021 off in style.
Calem Nieuwenhof - a stunner on debut
Some players wait their whole career to hit a ball this sweetly.
It took Calem Niewenhof less than half an hour into his debut.
Afforded all the time and space in the world, Niewenhof showed the Phoenix he wasn't to be underestimated on his A-League debut - the 19-year-old's bomb from distance was still rising as it cannoned into the top left corner.
Brattan steals the limelight with audacious free-kick
After Nieuwenhof's first-half strike, the teenage sensation would have felt quietly confident he'd be leaving the pitch with the talk of the town surrounding his eye-catching A-League debut.
That was until Brattan stepped forward to score a stunner of his own from similarly outrageous distance.
Despite the central placement of the dead ball, Brattan managed to wrong-foot Stefan Marinovic in Wellington's goal with a strike which swerved outward off his right boot, past the sprawling Phoenix 'keeper and into the right corner of goal.
McManaman's stellar debut capped off with moment of brilliance
If excitement for the arrival of English attacker Callum McManaman had yet to spread from Melbourne Victory's inner sanctum, it's safe to say all eyes will be on the English FA Cup winner from this moment on after an impressive A-League debut punctuated by a goal of sheer class against Brisbane Roar.
Intercepting the ball out wide on the right, McManaman instantly looked ahead to attack Brisbane's retreating defensive line.
Riku Danzaki came across to cover but McManaman skipped past him with ease, opening the angle up on his left and curling the ball neatly around Jamie Young and into the back of the net.
Wenzel-Halls ties Victory defence in knots to poke home a memorable solo goal
Shortly after defeating Victory 3-1 on the road on Saturday night, Brisbane Roar boss Warren Moon said he'd never met anyone hungrier to succeed in football than Dylan Wenzel-Halls.
The 23-year-old showed that exact hunger and determination to put Victory defender Nick Ansell in the spin-cycle before scoring an emphatic goal which sealed an impressive win for the Roar on the road.
With one touch off the chest, another to dink the ball to the left, two more on the dribble back to his right before the shot ultimately found its way into the bottom right corner, this was a goal which highlighted all the potential the young striker holds to become a lethal marksman in the league.
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