Who stood head and shoulders among the rest in Round 14 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season?
We’ve assessed the contenders and opted for a 3-5-2 formation in this week’s edition of the Team of the Week.
Did we get our starting XI right for Round 14?
Glen Moss (Newcastle Jets)
Newcastle’s margin of defeat against Sydney FC would surely have been greater if not for Moss.
Recalled in place of Lewis Italiano, the experienced former All Whites gloveman produced a string of fine saves either side of Nigel Boogaard’s decisive own goal.
Moss seemed on a one-man mission to frustrate Adam Le Fondre as he made five stops in total on Saturday.
Matt Millar (Central Coast Mariners)
Millar’s stoic contributions for Central Coast Mariners have often gone untold given the struggles of the Gosford club this season.
But after notching his maiden Hyundai A-League goal for Mike Mulvey’s men in their 1-1 draw with Brisbane, the former South Melbourne man’s performances are beginning to get the Mariners results.
Millar was immense from right wing-back for the Mariners and might’ve might have added to his goal tally on another night.
Harrison Delbridge (Melbourne City)
Warren Joyce threw Delbridge straight back into the starting XI after suspension and the centre-back justified his inclusion.
The 26-year-old was the difference between a draw and defeat for City, twice denying Andy Keogh with a pair of crucial blocks.
He slotted comfortably back into the three-man defence and joined Curtis Good in making five clearances.
Scott Galloway (Adelaide United)
Was this one of the 23-year-old’s best games in Reds colours?
Galloway kept Wanderers’ wingers Bruce Kamau – and then Nick Fitzgerald – quiet while also proving a real threat going forward from left-back.
He produced a couple of dazzling runs through the heart of the Wanderers defence that almost resulted in goals as well.
Diego Castro (Perth Glory)
If one man was to orchestrate a victory during Glory’s draw with City it was going to be Castro.
The Spaniard injected the creativity that was otherwise strangled out of the contest for large periods, and his ability to go past players gave Perth hope of finding a way through the City blockade.
He will continue to get better as the season progresses.
Brandon O’Neill (Sydney FC)
Josh Brillante’s absence through suspension increased the burden on O’Neill’s shoulders and he handled it dutifully against Newcastle.
The midfielder’s brilliant ball in behind the defence enticed Nigel Boogaard into the error that decided the game and was merely part of a multi-faceted, mature performance.
He kept Sydney FC ticking over with 94 touches, while three key passes and two shots underpinned a display not short on attacking endeavour.
Jacob Melling (Central Coast Mariners)
Melling produced far and away his best performance in a Mariners shirt in the club’s stalemate with Brisbane Roar.
The midfielder won 13 of his 16 duels, made several crucial interventions and it was his assured control of the middle third that helped Central Coast dominate for long periods of Sunday’s clash.
He was very nearly a goal-scoring hero too, flashing a stunning half volley inches over the bar and drawing a top class save from Jamie Young in two fine second half strikes.
Mandi (Wellington Phoenix)
The Spaniard returned to action with a point to prove following his suspension, and illustrated why he’ll be a crucial component in Wellington’s surge for Hyundai A-League glory.
Stationed next to the equally impressive Alex Rufer, Mandi won eight of his 11 duels, completed three of his four tackles and helped Phoenix rattle Victory in the first half with an incisive array of forward passing.
Roly Bonevacia (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Deployed in a deeper midfield role for the Wanderers’ loss to Adelaide on Friday, Bonevacia did all he could to try and snap the Wanderers’ losing streak.
He was the most creative source for Markus Babbel’s side and produced one of the highlights of the night with his stunning free-kick to draw the Wanderers level.
The former Wellington man did not deserve to be on the losing side for his desire and work-rate alone.
Roy Krishna (Wellington Phoenix)
Another weekend, another spot in the Team of the Week for Roy Krishna.
Krishna was at his inspirational best in Phoenix’s 3-3 draw with Victory on Sunday, clinically dispatching a penalty and tucking away a rebound to bring his tally for the season to 11.
In doing so, Krishna became the player in Hyundai A-League history to score two or more goals in three consecutive matches.
Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United)
The speedy winger was the difference in the 2-1 win over the Wanderers at ANZ Stadium.
Not only did he set up the opening goal for Vince Lia, Goodwin then capped a superb display with the winning goal midway through the second half.
Goodwin tormented the Wanderers defence all night with his dribbling and desire to get in behind, while he created a game-high seven chances.
Coach of the Round
His side may not have collected all three points, but Phoenix’s draw with Melbourne Victory is yet another feather in the cap for Mark Rudan.
Phoenix have engaged Victory in two thoroughly absorbing matches so far this season, another stark reminder of the newfound confidence and belief he has instilled in the New Zealanders.