Team of the Week, presented by Bunnings Warehouse - Matchweek 12
Matchweek 12 of the 2020/21 A-League campaign comes to a close with Central Coast Mariners six points clear at the top of the table.
The Gosford side drew 2-2 with Perth Glory on Sunday afternoon. Wins to Western Sydney Wanders, Adelaide United and Melbourne City helped the three teams placed second to fourth marginally close the gap on the league-leaders.
Sydney FC beat Newcastle Jets 2-1 to move into fifth, whilst Macarthur FC fell from second to sixth after losing 3-0 to City.
Melbourne Victory, meanwhile, remain bottom of the table after a 3-1 Original Rivalry loss to the Reds. Grant Brebner's side remain on seven points, four points behind both Newcastle and Wellington Phoenix who lost to the Sky Blues and Wanderers respectively in Matchweek 12.
From the six fixtures in the Matchweek, 11 players made the cut in a 4-3-3 formation for Team of the Week, presented by Bunnings Warehouse.
MW12 REPORT: Clinical City blitz Macarthur to go second on A-League table
MW12 REPORT: Western United 1-0 Brisbane Roar
Ryan Scott - Western United
The Green and Black clinched a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar on Sunday afternoon, and it was stand-in 'keeper Ryan Scott who stole the show at AAMI Park.
The Western United gloveman made nine saves, claimed two crosses and had 47 touches as he repelled a Roar attack which mounted a barrage of pressure on Scott's goal.
But the United 'keeper stood firm to withstand the pressure and clinch a clean sheet and a win for his side.
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Dylan Pierias - Western United
Western United's flying wing-back made a telling contribution to his side's 1-0 win over the Roar.
Adding to a clean sheet, Pierias created one chance and took five shots. The 21-year-old got forward to head home the only goal of the game, diving bravely at the back post to connect with a perfectly-weighted cross from Alessandro Diamanti.
Curtis Good - Melbourne City
It's a second Team of the Week appearance for Curtis Good in three Matchweeks, after the City centre-back helped his side keep back-to-back clean sheets in a 3-0 win over Macarthur FC.
Good passed 73 times at an accuracy of 87.7%. He won five of his seven duels and made four clearances as he kept a Bulls attack spearheaded by Matt Derbyshire off the scoresheet.
Alex Wilkinson - Sydney FC
Wilkinson netted his first goal in close to 11 years to crown Sydney's come from behind 2-1 victory over Newcastle Jets on Saturday, and what an important goal it could prove to be in the context of the club's season.
The Sky Blues skipper was his expert self at the back in shutting down Newcastle, making four interceptions and a clearance to propel Sydney into the top six on Saturday.
Scott Jamieson - Melbourne City
A captain's display from Scott Jamieson helped Melbourne City dominate Macarthur to clinch a fourth win on the bounce.
Jamieson made four clearances and one interception from left-back, played 59 passes at an accuracy of 86.4% and contributed to City's solid clean sheet display.
Stefan Mauk - Adelaide United
You could tell Stefan Mauk knew exactly what an Original Rivalry win would mean to Adelaide United as the Reds captain scored a brace from midfield to help his side secure a 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory on the road.
Mauk created two chances, made three interceptions and won eight of 13 duels but his most telling contributions to the game came from his smart runs into the box to score. Mauk scored an equaliser for the Reds in the first half before icing the cake with his side's third goal in the second 45, sealing a memorable Original Rivalry victory.
Joshua Nisbet - Central Coast Mariners
Central Coast Mariners drew 2-2 with Perth Glory on Sunday afternoon, and in wet and wild Gosford conditions it was Joshua Nisbet who dug the deepest, getting all over the park to help his side snare a point.
Nisbet won 11 of his 17 duels against Perth, taking 51 touches and laying 24 passes. With Gianni Stensness returning from injury off the bench, Mariners boss Alen Stajcic moved Nisbet from the six position out wide for the latter stages of the game, where he showed his versatility by continuing to excel for the Mariners.
Jordon Mutch -Western Sydney Wanderers
In Western Sydney's manic, dramatic 4-3 win over Wellington Phoenix, it was Jordon Mutch who emerged as the most influential player in a seven-goal thriller.
Mutch enjoyed an 86.7% accuracy from his 60 passes throughout the night, creating two chances including an assist for Mitchell Duke's goal.
Mutch scored one of his own - his second strike in as many A-League games - heading home a James Troisi corner to draw the Wanderers level at 2-2.
Kusini Yengi - Adelaide United
Kusini Yengi emerged from the bench to devastate Melbourne Victory in a 34-minute cameo for the Reds which garnered a goal and an assist.
Yengi signalled his intent with his first touch after entering the contest at Marvel Stadium, sending Aaron Anderson to ground, driving toward goal and firing a shot off the post.
The 22-year-old proceeded to break the game apart, scoring to put the Reds in front before assisting Mauk's sealer to write his name in the history books in one of the more memorable individual Original Rivalry performances.
Maclaren scored his ninth and tenth goals of the 2020/21 A-League campaign to go three clear at the top of the Golden Boot leaderboard as part of a dominant City strike force in a 3-0 win over Macarthur FC.
Maclaren put his side two goals ahead with a pair of strikes within minutes of each other on Friday night. The Socceroos forward took his tally to seven goals in four games with his brace against the Bulls as the reigning Golden Boot winner builds a frightening run of form.
Melbourne City have clinched four wins in four games, and it's no coincidence the run of form has coincided with Andrew Nabbout's return from injury.
Nabbout's work in wide areas has completely revitalised City's attack as he, Maclaren and Craig Noone have quickly developed a ruthless combination in the final third. Nabbout created eight chances in City's 3-0 win over Macarthur, assisting Noone's goal to make it three with a through ball from his defensive half to send the English winger in on goal.
Nabbout played a key part in all three City goals. It was his inventive pass which pierced Macarthur's defensive line for Maclaren's first goal, allowing Nathaniel Atkinson to get in behind and assist the Socceroos forward. Then, just minutes later Nabbout found Maclaren with a cross into the box which should have garnered his second assist; Maclaren struck his shot into Antony Golec on the line before firing home the rebound.
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