Who stood head and shoulders above the rest in Hyundai A-League Round 2?
After another thrilling weekend of football, we’ve assessed the main contenders and assembled our best eleven in a 4-3-3 formation.
Do you agree with our selections? Let us know!
Daniel Lopar (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Swiss ‘keeper Lopar is already looking like a sensational signing for the Wanderers two weeks into the new season. His composure and command of the area was crucial in helping Markus Babbel’s side edge Melbourne Victory 2-1 to make it two wins from two matches.
Lopar made excellent stops to deny Elvis Kamsoba, Andrew Nabbout and Ola Toivonen – although he was beaten by the Swede from the penalty spot in the second half.
Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC)
Grant showed why he’s widely regarded as one of the stars of the Hyundai A-League in Sydney’s gritty 2-1 win over Wellington.
His maiden appearance of the season was characterised by his energetic play up and down the right flank, and with the game locked at 1-1 in the second half, Grant broke the deadlock with a superb, match-winning finish.
It was a highlight play on an impressive return to league action from the ever-improving Caltex Socceroo.
Richard Windbichler (Melbourne City)
Windbichler was imperious in central defence for City on his Hyundai A-League debut.
The Austrian won 11 out of 14 duels, made five tackles and 104 passes with 82.7% accuracy throughout the game, making the most passes of any City player by some distance.
His performance in the heart of the defence was defined by a points-saving interception in the dying minutes of the game which denied Adelaide striker Kristian Opseth a clear-cut chance from close range to draw the visitors level.
Kye Rowles (Central Coast Mariners)
According to Central Coast boss Alen Stajcic, Saturday’s F3 Derby showing was Rowles’ best performance in a Mariners shirt.
The ex-Brisbane Roar man was outstanding in the 1-1 draw, helping the hosts repel a second-half Jets onslaught – highlighted by the seven clearances he made on the night.
He may only be 21 but Rowles is fast becoming the leader of the Mariners back four.
Daniel Georgievski (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Georgievski played like he had a point to prove against Victory, where he started his Hyundai A-League career in 2014.
The fullback was a pivotal part of the Wanderers’ triumph, and is quickly becoming one of the most important players at Babbel’s disposal.
He not only managed to keep the lively Kamsoba quiet down his flank for much of the night, but Georgievski was also a huge threat going forward.
Alessandro Diamanti (Western United FC)
The Italian star has been nothing short of a joy to watch during the early days of his Hyundai A-League career.
Diamanti was at his creative best against Glory on Saturday, catching the eye with his vision, passing and penchant for shooting from distance.
Only midfield compatriot Dario Jertec touched the ball more than Diamanti: the centre of everything that is impressive about the new boys.
Keanu Baccus (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Baccus has gone to another level this season with ex-Bundesliga grafter Pirmin Schwegler alongside him.
The 21-year-old provided a real box-to-box presence for the Wanderers in their drought-breaking win over Victory on Friday night.
Baccus then capped brilliant overall display with a cracking finish early in the second half, sending Mohamed Adam’s cutback into the top corner from outside the box.
Milan Duric (Central Coast Mariners)
Central Coast look a far stronger proposition in 2019/20, and a lot of that is down to the influence of the silky Serbian.
Duric became just the second Mariners player to score in his first two games for the club with his venomous volley in Saturday night’s F3 Derby draw.
But it wasn’t just his goal that stood out, with Duric getting through a mountain of work all over the pitch, setting the tempo for his side as well as hitting the woodwork twice with long-range shots.
Ulises Davila (Wellington Phoenix)
As Wellington began to assert themselves in the second of their clash with Sydney Ulises Davila stepped up to make his mark with a debut Hyundai A-League goal.
Sydney ultimately went on to win 2-1 through Grant’s heroics but Wellington impressed for long periods of the game, and Davila was at the forefront of their efforts throughout the 90 minutes.
Alex Meier (Western Sydney Wanderers)
The German is admittedly not up to full fitness yet but when Meier reaches his peak Hyundai A-League defences better watch out.
Meier offered audiences a snapshot of the quality he will bring to Western Sydney in Friday’s big win over the Victory, captured by the intelligent, match-winning lob over Lawrence Thomas to give the Red and Black two straight wins.
Wanderers fans will be hoping he can provide that kind of match-turning brilliance in next Saturday’s derby with Sydney FC.
Jamie Maclaren (Melbourne City)
Maclaren was at his brilliant best on his return to Hyundai A-League action this weekend, scoring a clinical first-half double in a best-on-ground display in City’s 2-1 win over Adelaide.
The Australian missed City’s first game of the campaign last weekend and his absence was clear for all to see as his side registered the most shots of any side in Round 1 but failed to score a goal.
Maclaren broke the deadlock midway through the first half pouncing on a deflected shot from Connor Metcalfe, and only minutes later he broke the game open with his second with a close-range volley off a well worked corner routine.