Fair go Cobber, the A-League's alright!
If the A-League is boring, maybe itÃ¢ÂÂs time to take up chess.
After an uninspiring Round 1 sent critics into a spin, Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar proved thereÃ¢ÂÂs life in the new league yet by producing one of the greatest games in the competitionÃ¢ÂÂs brief history.
It wasnÃ¢ÂÂt just that Melbourne clawed back a 3-1 half-time deficit that will have the nay-sayers choking on their Weet-Bix.
Instead it was the quality of goals Ã¢ÂÂ so often maligned in the A-League Ã¢ÂÂ that suggests thereÃ¢ÂÂs enough quality lurking under the surface to sway even the most hardened of cynics.
In a land where English football provides stiff competition to the local product, perhaps it was fitting that former English Premier League midfielder Danny Tiatto was the first to fire a broadside with an early candidate for goal-of-the-season.
More renowned for his leg-breaking challenges than any kind of goalscoring touch, Tiatto let fly with the sort of 25-yard piledriver that usually results in both teams shutting up shop, safe in the knowledge that no better goal will be scored.
Instead it was a precursor of things to come Ã¢ÂÂ although TiattoÃ¢ÂÂs bald dÃÂ¶ppelgÃÂ¤nger Sergio van Dijk was forced to convert the obligatory penalty to send Brisbane two goals in front.
Enter one Carlos Hernandez. The Costa Rican international arrived in the A-League palpably overweight, sparking a trend that has been lovingly adopted by every big-name foreign signing since.
From the blimp-like Mario Jardel to North Queensland heavyweight Robbie Fowler, stepping off the plane as though theyÃ¢ÂÂve just consumed every lamington ever baked has become somewhat of the norm for the A-LeagueÃ¢ÂÂs foreign legion.
But no matter how many jam scones heÃ¢ÂÂs scoffed prior to kick-off, few prove as effective as MelbourneÃ¢ÂÂs mercurial playmaker.
Doing away with his usual fancy foot-work, Hernandez hauled Victory back into the match with a thunderous strike that hit the back of the net like an Exocet missile.
Just when MelbourneÃ¢ÂÂs army of fans began to find their voice, BrisbaneÃ¢ÂÂs recent acquisition Henrique then added his personal contribution to the list of stunning goals.
The diminutive Brazilian lived up to his nickname Ã¢ÂÂSlippery FishÃ¢ÂÂ by twisting and turning past a baffled Victory defence and curling a superb right-foot strike into the far corner.
3-1 to Brisbane at half-time, and Melbourne done and dusted. Or were they?
Danny Allsopp doesnÃ¢ÂÂt have a colourful nickname Ã¢ÂÂ or at least any that The dirt from Down Under is aware of Ã¢ÂÂ but if he did, itÃ¢ÂÂd be something like Ã¢ÂÂThe Hungry Yak.Ã¢ÂÂ
A ubiquitous presence in the goal mouth, the bullocking front-man is more accustomed to banging them in with his shin than he is to making the highlights reel.
Everyone expected Allsopp to get his head to a stock-standard Hernandez cross just after the hour mark.
But when the ball looped high into the air, the former English lower-league journeyman turned and smashed a textbook volley into the far corner of the goal!
Maybe it was the stinging criticism dished out after MelbourneÃ¢ÂÂs opening night defeat to Central Coast Mariners a week earlier, but in a game that appeared to be following a blockbuster script, you just knew that Victory would haul themselves level.
It was Carlos Hernandez who did his best Cesc Fabregas impersonation when Melbourne were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box.
A cross appeared the more likely option, but Hernandez had clearly tired of the niceties and simply curled his direct free-kick straight into the far corner.
3-3! Goals galore! Five of the best strikes seen in recent A-League history.
But will it be enough to silence the critics?
With poor attendances and a wildly lop-sided Queensland derby threatening to knock this Etihad Stadium classic out of the headlines Ã¢ÂÂ probably not.
But with 17 goals scored in each of the first two rounds of A-League action, AustraliaÃ¢ÂÂs premier club competition can no longer be accused of being boring.
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