In a weekend where the Hyundai A-League celebrated its 1000th match, three players notched braces to demand selection in Round Nine's Team of the Week.
Player of the Week: Sidnei
The Glory wideman fired in a contender for goal of the season when he opened the scoring in the six goal thriller against Phoenix. The Brazilian celebrating the World Cup draw by unleashing an unstoppable strike on his favoured left boot from beyond the area. Sidnei had a hand in Glory’s second goal when he laid on the ball for Thwaite to nod home, and capped his performance with a second goal in injury time which will no doubt accelerate Glory’s bid to re-sign their exciting winger.
Goalkeeper: Matthew Acton
Making just his second Hyundai A-League appearance, Matthew Acton put in an accomplished performance deputising for the injured Michael Theo. The 21-year-old made one of the saves of the season to deny Fabio Ferreira and also denied Sergio Cirio late on to ensure Roar took maximum points and extended their lead at the league’s summit.
Storm Roux: The Central Coast right back was a constant menace down the right flank against the Sky Blues and was part of a Mariners defence that kept the only clean sheet of the weekend. His overlapping runs and crosses to the box had Sydney FC constantly on the backfoot. The 20-year-old is proving to be another astute signing by last season’s Champions and has taken his game to another level since making his international debut for the All Whites against Mexico.
Kew Jaliens: The former Dutch international has been a large part of the Jets revival this season, and his leadership and work rate were again strong in the Jets win on the weekend. Victory were expected to make light work of Newcastle playing in front of their home fans in the Hyundai A-League’s 1000th match. However Jaliens was responsible for repelling wave after wave of attack and was also a threat from set-pieces.
Michael Thwaite: The Perth skipper headed home a classy finish and had the post-goal celebratory dance to match in Glory’s two-goal win over the Phoenix. Thwaite showed great athleticism to get his head to the ball from a cross, the equaliser giving his side back the ascendancy and they went on to take the match in convincing fashion.
Aziz Behich: The Melbourne Heart left back undoubtedly had his best game of the season against the Wanderers to help ensure the Red and White took away a valuable point from Pirtek Stadium. Not too many sides have held last season’s Premiers to one goal at home but Behich held firm in the face of Western Sydney’s attack. The on-loan Bursaspor defender was rarely beaten and was able to win the ball for his side with some sharp tackles on numerous occasions.
Nathan Burns: Newcastle winger Nathan Burns made a welcome return to the goal scorers list and he made it a brace to give the Jets the points against Victory. On loan from Incheon United, Burns scored his first Hyundai A-League goal since netting for Adelaide back in October 2007. He struck two similar goals, one in each half, firing low across goalkeeper Nathan Coe to ensure the Jets were the victors in the league’s 1000th match.
Aaron Mooy: The Wanderers playmaker has been a consistent performer in midfield this year and notched the equaliser that ensured last season’s Premiers extended their unbeaten home run to 10 matches. Deployed in a more attacking role Mooy was a constant threat, netting his first goal of the season and he could easily have had a couple more. The 23-year-old showed his versatility playing in the No.10 role and only a great save from Heart keeper Andrew Redmayne denied him a late winner.
Michael McGlinchey: The Kiwi international was pulling the strings for the Mariners in midfield during their win over the Sky Blues. McGlinchey was involved in the lead up to the decisive goal and provided some silky touches that should have seen his side win by more than a solitary goal. He also got through his fair share of work in defence to help ensure Sydney FC barely had a sight of goal.
Besart Berisha: The Roar striker has been on fire since making his return from injury and made it four goals in three games in the win against the Reds to extend Brisbane’s lead at the top of the table. Berisha calmly slotted an equaliser from the spot and showed the kind of determination you want from your frontman when knocking in the winner to make his third appearance in a row in the Team of the Week.
Daniel McBreen: Last season’s Golden Boot winner netted his first goal of the season against the Sky Blues to see his side back on the winners list – and managed to get in a plug for Camp Quality in the process. McBreen was a constant target up front for the Mariners who had gone a little shy in front of goal in recent weeks and proved why he could be the man to lead Central Coast to back-to-back titles.