The jostling for positions in the Round 17 TOTW was the most competitive we’ve seen this season. With all the goals it was an especially hard choice selecting the strikers.
The jostling for positions in the Round 17 TOTW was the most competitive we-ve seen this season. With all the goals it was an especially hard choice selecting the strikers.
Player of the week:
Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar): One of the leading lights in the A-League showed his full prowess against the Mariners that left fans and coaches a gasp. Broich single-handedly ran the fixture, floating between the midfield and the front line. With his side trailing at the break, Broich provided assists to both Roar goals. Speaking in the lead up to the match, the German underlined the importance of this fixture, and stepped up to the plate.
Ante Covic (Western Sydney Wanderers): In a round where no team managed to keep a cleansheet, Covic was ever ever-reliable between the posts at Hunter Stadium. Despite diving full stretch he was unable to keep out a blasting shot from Adam Taggart for the game-s opener. The 38-year-old produced a couple of strong saves throughout the contest and only a fortuitous late equaliser prevented the Wanderers taking home all three points.
Nick Ansell (Melbourne Victory) Deputising for the suspended Adrian Leijer, Ansell helped shore up a Victory defence that had leaked ten goals in their past two games. The 20-year-old part of a defensive line that restricted the Glory to two shots on target on their home patch. Ansell has shown plenty of potential when called upon this season and could form an important part of Kevin Muscat-s defensive jig-saw puzzle in the run-in to the finals.
Rob Wielaert (Melbourne Heart): After the Heart were reduced to 10-men and went behind on the scoreboard it was all hands on deck at AAMI Park against the Sky Blues. Wielaert has been an under-rated contributor to the Red and White cause in recent weeks and put in a strong defensive performance as his side pulled the game out of the fire. With Manchester City representatives sitting in the crowd, they would have taken note of the central defenders performance.
William Gallas (Perth Glory): The former French international played the best part of 90-minutes and put in his best performance in a Glory shirt. Gallas was able to control things at the back for Perth and showed all his experience in dealing with a Victory side intent on attack. An awkward landing after going up for an athletic header late in the game put a scare through the Glory camp. He came off with a leg injury but will hopefully be right to back up this weekend.
Shane Stefanutto (Brisbane Roar): The Roar veteran has been a consistent part of the most miserly defence in the competition this season. The left back put in another solid shift against the Champions to help the Roar extend their lead at the summit. Stefanutto helped limited the Mariners to a handful of chances throughout the contest and showed the kind of form that saw the 34-year-old given a contract extension at the start of the year.
Carlos Hernandez (Wellington Phoenix): In his return match from International duty, Hernandez proved his worth for the Phoenix scoring the teams- first goal in a 2-1 win over Adelaide. Already the dominant figure on the pitch, the Costa Rican beat Daniel Bowles to a loose ball inside the box and drew a penalty. Cheekily, he winked at Eugene Galekovic, before sending the Adelaide custodian the wrong way. Hernandez was instrumental in many of the Phoenix-s chances, including a delightful through ball that resulted in a goal to Kenny Cunningham.
Jonatan Germano (Melbourne Heart): The Argentinian made a welcome appearance in the starting XI for the Heart following a lengthy injury break, dominating midfield proceeding-s in the gutsy 2-1 triumph. Germano provided a sublime display of defensive midfield tenacity as well as popping up with the equaliser. The tenacious midfielder sat in front of the Heart backline, stifling a Sydney midfield that was so dominant the week previous. Although there was some luck with his strike, it was richly deserved after his performance.
Kenny Cunningham (Wellington Phoenix): A regular inclusion in TOTW over the past month, Cunningham provided a performance that showed why he was selected for international duty last weekend. The Costa Rican netted his third goal in as many matches, with a signature strike. Released by compatriot Carlos Hernandez, Cunningham showed his impressive speed before cutting inside onto his right foot and shooting truly.
Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets): The Jets striker returned to the top of the goal scoring charts following his timely double against Western Sydney. Having not scored since November, Taggart showed his strikers instincts lashing home a powerful drive that left Ante Covic with no chance. The Socceroos striker was keen to chance his arm from distance regularly, with only a superb Covic keeping him at bay. His second goal was as ugly as his first was beautiful, tapping home on the brink of injury time to garner a well-deserved point for his team.
Darvydas Sernas (Perth Glory): Coming on at half-time, the Lithuanian international showed his new home fans his capabilities from the fore, netting after being on the pitch for seconds. Picking the ball up 30 metres out from goal, Sernas only had sights on shooting and sent a fearsome dipping effort that curled away from Nathan Coe and into the back of the net. After the goal, Sernas was just as influential, at the heart of all good movements that the Glory created.