Team of the Week, presented by Bunnings Warehouse - Matchweek 11
Melbourne City's sensational six-goal win over crosstown rivals Melbourne Victory headlined Match Week 11 – but which players stepped up to earn their stripes in the Team of the Week, presented by Bunnings Warehouse?
The ladder-leading Central Coast Mariners continued their winning ways, taking down Perth Glory 2-0, while Adelaide United, Wellington Phoenix, Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC all posted three-point hauls over the past week.
Who made it into the 4-3-3 formation in this week's Team of the Week, presented by Bunnings Warehouse? Read on to find out.
Oliver Sail – Wellington Phoenix
The Wellington gloveman was the round’s busiest keeper, showing safe hands as he made eight saves while Wellington were outshot 21-8 by Perth Glory, despite going on to win 3-0.
The 25-year-old made it back-to-back clean sheets on his 11th career start in the competition, a performance highlighted by an athletic low block from Brandon Wilson’s 12th-minute drive and a courageous triple save to deny Bruno Fornaroli twice and Daniel Stynes at close range.
James McGarry – Wellington Phoenix
Phoenix absorbed a lot of pressure in the 3-0 counter-attacking win against Glory and McGarry was a key component at both ends of the WIN Stadium pitch in Wollongong.
The 22-year-old left back was almost faultless in his defensive duties, winning seven of eight duels and two of three tackles, while adding three clearances and two interceptions.
McGarry also made a big impression on the breakaway, finding space for a shot inside the Glory box and putting the ball on a platter for David Ball to double the scoring.
Kye Rowles – Central Coast Mariners
Kye Rowles shone on a meaningful night for the Central Coast Mariners centre-back.
Rowles performed bravely in the heart of defence with his parents watching on in the stands, after his mother Simone – who was diagnosed with breast cancer late last year – walked the game ball out ahead of the Mariners' clash with Macarthur.
Rowles made 10 clearances and seven interceptions, and won four of seven duels to ensure the Bulls' domination of possession did not lead to goals, while centre-back partner Ruon Tongyik also starred.
Ziggy Gordon – Western Sydney Wanderers
Western Sydney's three-man defence coped well with the threat of Alessandro Diamanti in the 1-0 win over Western United in Ballarat, with Gordon standing head and shoulders above the rest.
The Scotsman won six duels, made five clearances and recorded three interceptions as the Red and Black's solid backline built the platform to take three points on the road in a gritty display.
Nathaniel Atkinson – Melbourne City
City's energetic right-back touched the ball more times (95) than any player on the park in Melbourne City's 6-0 thrashing of Melbourne Victory.
Atkinson won City an early penalty which was squandered by Jamie Maclaren, before proceeding to assist his side's sixth goal late in the second half, sliding Stefan Colakovski in to score.
Atkinson ran up and down the right wing all night to contribute heavily to City's build-up play and help Patrick Kisnorbo's team keep a clean sheet, edging out a stellar right-back performance by Rhyan Grant in his 200th A-League game for Sydney FC.
Connor Metcalfe - Melbourne City
Metcalfe scored two goals in three minutes to tear Melbourne Victory apart and put Melbourne City on the path to an enormous Melbourne Derby win.
Metcalfe benefited from a pair of excellent Jamie Maclaren assists to secure his brace. The second was a relatively simple finish but Metcalfe had it all to do to score his first of the night, making a powerful run down the left and hammering the ball off Max Crocombe's near post into the net.
Oliver Bozanic - Central Coast Mariners
Central Coast's midfield general put in another solid display to help the league-leaders win their battle with the Bulls in the centre of the park.
Tasked with nullifying the impact of the likes of Loic Puyo, Beñat Etxebarria and Markel Susaeta, Bozanic performed with admirable quality to pass 46 times at a team-high accuracy of 93.5%, making seven ball recoveries in a strong display.
Luke Brattan – Sydney FC
Competition was fierce for the third central midfield berth with Western Sydney's Graham Dorrans, Adelaide's Louis D'Arrigo and Rostyn Griffiths of Melbourne City all in the running, but Sydney FC's tough tackler gets the call after a pair of solid displays as the Sky Blues collected four points.
Brattan led his team in touches (91) in the 1-1 draw against Brisbane Roar, hitting two shots, creating four chances and winning five duels. He backed that up with a combative display in the 2-0 win over Western United, taking a knock early but coming back to control the midfield, winning another five duels.
Craig Goodwin - Adelaide United
Craig Goodwin lit up Coopers Stadium on his home return, showing a touch of class to score the winning goal in Adelaide United's 2-1 victory over Newcastle Jets.
Goodwin created a game-high four chances and 14 crosses as he took the game to Newcastle's defence, hitting the bar before eventually finding the winner to reward his sterling efforts.
Jamie Maclaren - Melbourne City
Socceroos marksman Jamie Maclaren displayed his evolution as a striker in City's 6-0 thumping of Melbourne Victory, scoring one goal and creating two assists.
Maclaren missed a penalty in the first half but that did little to dampen his spirits. He went on to score his side's 34th-minute opener before assisting Metcalfe twice for a quick-fire brace.
Maclaren's assist for Metcalfe's first goal showed the improvements made in his link-up game, showing feet to the midfielders instead of darting in behind to open up the space for the midfielder's smart run toward the ball.
Andrew Nabbout – Melbourne City
Returning to face his former side, Andrew Nabbout displayed no fear as he dominated down City's right flank in an impressive 81-minute showing against Victory.
Nabbout created three chances and laid in six crosses as he got past Victory left-back Dalibor Markovic time and again with relative ease.
His best moment of the match came in the lead up to Florin Berenguer's second-half goal, turning Markovic inside out as he drove toward the right byline, cutting the ball back to find Berenguer to tap home.
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