Heroic Moments: How Taylor bounced back from horror miss to inspire Phoenix
It’s only Round 2 and we could already have a strong contender for Hyundai A-League miss of the season - but even that didn't deter a heroic display from Wellington Phoenix colossus Steven Taylor.
The Nix stopper was guilty of that crime, with the defender fluffing his lines big time in Wellington Phoenix’s 0-0 draw with Brisbane Roar on Sunday afternoon.
And the veteran defender could still barely believe his misfortune in his post-match interview with Fox Sports.
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"[Tom Doyle] hit a great strike, it’s popped off the keeper, came at the back stick and, yeah, it’s come off the ankle, straight off onto the side of the post,” he said.
"I was disappointed with that... [we] missed some good chances."
Most players would crumble under the psychological weight of such a glaring error.
But despite his horror miss, Taylor bounced back to earn man of the match honours and inspire Wellington to a valuable point on the road.
His formidable performance at the back drew praise from Phoenix boss Mark Rudan, who lauded Taylor’s resolve and experience.
“Those chances can happen in the opening minutes or in the last few minutes, I think [what's] more important is the resolve and the resilience that Steven Taylor showed," he said.
“He was bitterly disappointed. I was looking at him for a good five minutes because he was sort of all over the shop and knew what a chance that was.
“I’d be more disappointed if that was a striker… I mean it’s a proper defender's miss isn’t it!? We all make mistakes and I’ve made it really clear to the players we’re all going to make mistakes in the game.
“But it’s what you do thereafter and I thought that’s where he showed his real leadership qualities and the type of character that he is.”
It might’ve been an impressive recovery from the former Newcastle United, but he was unable to escape the social media spotlight that followed!
Ikonomidis' late goal making headlines
A stoppage time winner against the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions?
It’s not a bad way to crown your full starting debut for your new club.
Christopher Ikonomidis’ late heroics sealed a remarkable 3-2 victory for Perth on Sunday night, and Glory fans will hope it’s the first of many match-winning contributions.
Bautheac leaves Tom Doyle for dead
Brisbane Roar’s Eric Bautheac couldn’t inspire his side to a winner in their stalemate with Wellington yesterday, but the Frenchman had the ball on a string at times.
Bautheac directed the flow of traffic for Roar throughout the contest and left Suncorp Stadium in awe – and Phoenix defender Tom Doyle on his knees – with a devilish feint.
Reddy holds Victory at bay with two stunners
Melbourne Victory turned on the style in the second half of Sunday evening’s encounter with Perth, and the visitors had their veteran goalkeeper to thank for preserving their lead.
Liam Reddy first pulled off a strong parry to repel Keisuke Honda’s fierce drive, and followed that up with a stunning acrobatic leap to thwart a Kosta Barbouses volley from close range.
Kurto saves the day for Phoenix
Reddy’s heroics wasn’t the only example of goalkeeping excellence in Round 2.
Wellington Phoenix shot stopper Filip Kurto was rarely troubled to the extreme against Roar on Sunday.
But the Pole in goal came up with a match-saving moment late on, launching himself to the right to parry Alex Lopez’s long-range strike, and preserve a credible point for the Kiwi outfit.
Izzo comes up trumps for Adelaide
Despite the best efforts of Reddy and Kurto, Paul Izzo’s stunning save from Jason Hoffman in Adelaide’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Friday night was the clear contender for Save of the Round.
The Adelaide gloveman pulled off a sensational point-blank stop to push Hoffman’s header clear when the Jets attacker appeared destined to find the net.
Marrone’s magic delivery
Both teams struggled for a clinical edge in Friday night’s draw between Adelaide and Newcastle, but Michael Marrone’s sensational assist for Craig Goodwin’s equaliser was a rare moment of quality.
The Reds fullback launched a wonderful arching delivery from the right-hand side that was met emphatically by Goodwin, earning the praise of Fox Sports commentator Robbie Slater.
Bodies on the line in Mariners, City draw
There was never going to be any doubt over what Matt Simon would bring to the Mariners upon his club return.
The veteran striker said he’d lead from the front this season and that was on full show in their 1-1 draw with Melbourne City on Saturday afternoon.
Simon was involved in a fierce collision between Eugene Galekovic and Iacopo La Rocca early on, clambering over the City players as all three ended on the floor.
It surmised what was a testing physical battle in Gosford.
Start as you mean to go on
Victory’s clash with Perth Glory on Sunday was an intense, fast-paced affair – and fittingly it took just three seconds for the first foul to be awarded.
Glory’s Juande was certainly not letting Melbourne danger man Kosta Barbarouses out of his sights, giving the Kiwi an early wake up fall just three seconds after kick off. Talk about making your presence felt!