Player of the week
Thomas Broich continues to show his worth for the Brisbane Roar, helping his side to a 4-0 demolition of Sydney FC. Broich set up the first goal when his free kick found Matt Smith who headed home, before getting a much-deserved goal himself when he scored the fourth and final in the 80th minute. Broich’s influence on the Roar team is highlighted by his match-high 87% completion rate of his 69 passes, while also entering the penalty area eight times and putting in four well directed crosses that tested the Sky Blues defence.
Ante Covic pulled off a number of classy saves against the Wellington Phoenix to ensure his Western Sydney side did not suffer a come-from-behind defeat at the hands of the Wellington Phoenix. Covic made two spectacular rapid-fire saves to keep his side in the lead before Jeremy Brockie got the lone goal for the Phoenix moments later. Covic also did extremely well to tip Carlos Hernandez’s attempt from outside the box onto the bar and was strong distributing the ball to his teammates.
In what was a thoroughly entertaining affair to open round two of the 2013/14 season, Adama Traore put in a strong performance for the Melbourne Victory as they drew 2-2 away with Adelaide United. Traore won the ball at the back on numerous occasions and passed the ball effectively out of the backline. When pressing up the pitch he made six entries into the final third with his one shot on goal forcing Reds keeper Eugene Galekovic into making a save.
Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith kick started the Brisbane Roar’s rout of Sydney FC after he headed home from a Thomas Broich free kick. Returning from an injury that saw him out for the backend of the Roar’s 2012/13 campaign, Smith is back to full fitness and was strong at the back as the Roar kept a clean sheet in their dominant 4-0 victory.
Standing alongside Smith in the Roar’s defence, and also in the team of the week, is stalwart Jade North. North also was a key factor in the Roar’s win ensuring his side did not concede against Sydney FC, while scoring his first goal in the Hyundai A-League since 2008. The Roar’s back four is set to be one of the toughest to break down this season and North will be a big part in keeping Brisbane at the top of the table.
Jerome Polenz got his name on the scoresheet for the first time in the A-League when he scored the Wanderers solitary goal in their clash with the Phoenix. The 26-year-old continues to impress in the red and black and has made the right back spot his own. Polenz drilled the ball low past Glen Moss from the edge of the box after the Phoenix failed to clear the ball from a corner. The Wanderer helped to ensure his side got something from the match when the pressure began to build in the second half.
Awer Mabil was given his chance to shine after an injury to defender Daniel Bowles saw a Reds reshuffle and Mabil substituted onto the left wing. The Kenyan–born Young Socceroo looked impressive from the outset and made a number of raids down the left wing towards the Victory goal. He led the team with three shots on goal and when he was denied by the upright teammate Jeronimo was on hand to tap the ball in to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.
For the second straight week Marcos Flores has been one of the stars on the pitch for the Central Coast Mariners. The Argentine midfielder was involved in just about everything and was extremely calm under pressure as he converted his two penalties as the Mariners salvaged a 2-2 draw away at Melbourne Heart. Flores had three shots on target and entered the penalty area a game-high four times.
With captain Harry Kewell on the sidelines David Williams moved into a more central role for the Heart’s clash with the Mariners and the move paid dividends. Williams scored a brace and outside of a brilliant save from Mariners keeper Justin Pasfield he would have had a hat-trick. While Williams will be happy with his performance he will be disappointed his side could not claim all three points after his goals got his side a two goal lead.
Leading all scorers in the Hyundai A-League is Adelaide United’s Jeronimo Neumann. Jeronimo got his third goal of the season when he was in the right place at the right time when Awer Mabil’s shot on goal hit the upright and fell at his feet. The 27-year-old tapped home to again get his name on the scoresheet. Earlier in the match Jeronimo drew a penalty which Sergio Cirio converted to give his side the opener. With coach Josep Gombau’s new system already paying dividends in terms of goals Jeronimo is likely to be in the hunt for the golden boot award all season long.
Jeremy Brockie scored the Phoenix’s only goal against the Wanderers and impressed with a total of four shots on goal throughout the match. Brockie looked dangerous up front for the Phoenix and when his side began to pile on the pressure in the second half he capitalised to beat Ante Covic and earn his side a much deserved point for the improving Wellington side.
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