Tom's A-League team of the week

There was intense heat, there was 'anti-football', there was goalkeeper howlers and there was some fine performers too. FourFourTwo's Tom Stelzer takes a quirky look at the weekend's A-League action and names our team of the week.

MELBOURNE VICTORY 2 CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 1

Melbourne continued to put the ‘victory’ in Melbourne Victory with a convincing home win against Central Coast to kick off Round Seven of the A-League.

Gui Finkler gave the hosts an early lead after a nice one-two with Oliver Bozanic and three minutes later doubled the advantage. With the Mariners wall rooted like the very palm trees emblazoned on their jerseys, Finkler curled into a beautiful free kick to put Victory in cruise control.

A Matt Sim header came too late to rescue anything for the visitors against an impressive Melbourne side missing Besart Berisha and Carl Valeri.

BRISBANE ROAR 1 MELBOURNE CITY 1

Following his side’s 1-1 home draw with Melbourne City, Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi criticised the visitors for their cynical tactics.

Melbourne’s persistent fouling of Thomas Broich, whose sumptuous pass set up Henrique’s equaliser, prompted Aloisi to accuse City’s players of ‘anti-football’. It seemed a bit rich given the antics of Brisbane’s goalkeeper Jamie Young midway through the first half. Whatever he was playing at, it certainly wasn’t football.

Channeling his inner schoolkid with a re-creation of popular playground game, tunnel ball, Young inexplicably flicked the ball through his own legs, gifting it to Bruno Fornoroli to set up a misfiring Aaron Mooy.

It was the first of a comedy of errors in the truest sense of the phrase for Young, whose goal kick into the heels of defender Daniel Bowles gifted City the opening goal. Harry Novillo was the first to react to the resulting shot from Mooy, and gave his side the lead early in the second half, before the returning Henrique scored with 20 minutes remaining.

PERTH GLORY 0 SYDNEY FC 0

Sydney FC made the transcontinental trip to face a struggling Perth Glory at a sweltering nib Stadium. The fans were offered no distractions from the heat as the game ended 0-0, a contest so dull it makes a trip on the Indian Pacific feel like a nip to the shops.

The players weren’t helped by the sweltering conditions, with the temperature at kickoff a toasty 34°C. Sydney coach Graham Arnold, always one to make his feelings known, suggested the players would rather have been at the beach, a sentiment no doubt shared by most of the fans in attendance.

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 2 WELLINGTON PHOENIX 1

Mark Bridge was the 11th hour hero as Western Sydney saw off Wellington Phoenix in a lively affair. Federico Piovaccari put the hosts in front before Bridge slotted home from six yards to catapult the Wanderers above their cross-town rivals and into 3rd.

Scott Jamieson almost stole the show with a certified screamer harshly disallowed for an off-the-ball foul by Piovaccari, an affront to lovers of great goals the world over.

In the most needlessly specific stat of the week, the victory was Wanderers’ fourth in a row, a feat they last achieved in November 2013, which also unfolded between Round Three and Round Six and which also finished with a Mark Bridge winner.

ADELAIDE UNITED 0 NEWCASTLE JETS 0

Fresh from the launch of their appalling ‘Air Force Jersey’ this week, Newcastle held on to claim a point in an insipid scoreless draw away to Adelaide United. Taking the F3 derby off the field, the kit rivals Central Coast’s infamous palm tree as the A-League’s worst sartorial effort.

On the field it was a different story, as the Jets snared a point in a game that never achieved liftoff, thanks to the goalkeeping heroics of Mark Birighitti. The draw propels Newcastle into fifth, and leaves the Reds winless at the bottom of the table.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

MARK BIRIGHITTI

Newcastle Jets, Goalkeeper

Made a number of critical saves to keep Adelaide goalless and earn his side a point.

JACK CLISBY

Melbourne City, Defender

Made 11 tackles and led the defence in passes and touches.

SCOTT JAMIESON

Western Sydney Wanderers, Defender

A solid defensive performance almost capped off by a thunderous goal of the season contender harshly disallowed.

SEB RYALL

Sydney, Defender

Made two key tackles to put a stop to Perth’s best chances.

GUI FINKLER

Melbourne Victory, Midfielder

His two early goals paved the way for a convincing win that sent Victory back to the top of the table.

ERIK PAARTALU

Melbourne City, Midfielder

Tidy in possession and kept the play ticking over for City.

OLIVER BOZANIC

Melbourne Victory, Midfielder

His backheel set up Finkler’s first and he commanded from the midfield.

THOMAS BROICH

Brisbane Roar, Midfielder

Despite being the target of persistent fouling, managed to stamp his authority with a lovely assist.

MITCH NICHOLS

Western Sydney Wanderers, Midfielder

A lively creative presence for the Wanderers.

MARK BRIDGE

Western Sydney Wanderers, Striker

Created Western Sydney’s first goal and fired home a late winner to make it four wins in a row.

FEDERICO PIOVACCARI

Western Sydney Wanderers, Striker

Made it two from two at home and worked hard for the team.

Topics