The jostling for positions in the Round 20 TOTW was the most competitive we’ve seen this season. With all the goals it was an especially hard choice selecting the strikers.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Cirio (Adelaide United)
The Spaniard could not have done any more to help his side on the weekend. Netting a hat-trick the pint sized forward put together a superb individual performance. Twice giving his side the lead in the epic encounter against Melbourne Victory, Cirio scored with all three shots that he took. Not only limited to shooting, the showman provided four shot assists to his teammates. Whilst his side may have suffered defeat, it was hard to go past him as the Player of the Week for Round 20.
Jerrad Tyson (Western Sydney Wanderers)
After sitting on the pine for 18 months, Tyson put in a faultless performance. Not tested until the second half, Tyson made the first of many crucial saves in the 70th minute. With the Wanderers clinging to a 1-0 lead, Rostyn Griffith’s powerful header was set for the back of the net until Tyson intervened brilliantly. Even at 2-0 Tyson preserved a clean sheet with a string of saves in the final 10 minutes, ensuring Tony Popovic a headache at the selection table this week.
Patrick Kisnorbo (Melbourne Heart)
That tackle! Coming from further back than Steven Bradbury, the former Leeds defender preserved a vital three points for the Heart with a last gasp lunge to poke the ball away from Besart Berisha when he seemed destined to score. Tasked with keeping Berisha and Thomas Broich quiet, Kisnorbo ensured the pair were firmly entrenched in his back pocket. After injury cruelled his 2010 World Cup hopes, Kisnorbo could be putting himself into contention for a spot at Brazil 2014.
Sasa Ognenovski (Sydney FC)
The 'Big O' was a crucial plank that saw Sydney claim three points from the Jets for the third time this season. Tasked with marking Emile Heskey, Ognenovski started slowly, but claimed every header on offer after the first 20 minutes. His aerial prowess was also used to good effect offensively, with his bullet header from a corner giving the Sky Blues a precious lead. His partnership with Nikola Petkovic will be crucial to Sydney FC’s hopes for the rest of the season.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Western Sydney Wanderers)
At the top of his game, Topor-Stanley has been a constant name in the Wandeers season of rotation. Under Tony Popovic, the hulking stopper has shrugged off a reputation for being inconsistent. His performances have started drawing media acclaim, with Socceroos recognition reportedly around the corner. Marking Shane Smeltz, Topor-Stanley ensured the New Zealand marksmen had no service, with 23 clearances for the match.
Aaron Mooy (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Out of contract and on the market, Aaron Mooy is keeping his name atop transfer wish lists across the country with a series of stellar performances. Dominating the midfield, every touch is turning to gold for the 23 year old. Alongside Mateo Poljak, who was an unlucky omission from TOTW, Mooy ensured the the Wanderers midfield brigade were the dominant one for large parts of the match.
Carlos Hernandez (Wellington Phoenix)
Is this guy Benjamin Button in disguise? Hernandez is rising out of the ashes at the Phoenix a reformed player. The Costa Rican is now perched atop the Alex Tobin medal standings following another standout performance. The playmaker was in vintage form against the Mariners, scoring a goal, having seven shot assists and six shots with his 57 touches. His goal, surely a candidate for goal of the season, disturbed the spider web, such was its placement.
Orlando Engelaar (Melbourne Heart)
Engelaar is proving to be the four leaved clover for the Heart, not having suffered a loss since he has put on the red and white stripes. His goal capped off a fine performance from the former Dutch international. Playing in the heart of midfield, Engelaar amassed four tackles, two blocks and two interceptions in defence, whilst in attack he had an 83% pass completion rate.
Guilherme Finkler (Melbourne Victory)
After missing the Asian Cup tie the previous week, Finkler showed his importance to Kevin Muscat as he bagged a brace in the thrilling 4-3 win over Adelaide. The Brazillian turned around the contest, twice bringing the Victory level. His first goal showed exquisite skill, taking a touch, before volleying home past an outstretched Eugene Galekovic. For his second, he played a one two with Leigh Broxham before dispatching a shot inside Galekovic’s near post.
Alessandro Del Piero (Sydney FC)
“Il Pinturicchio” was again at the forefront of Sydney FC’s victory, placing his fingerprints well and truly on the three points that the club gained. Providing a goal and an assist, the Italian secured Sydney’s second win on the bounce almost single-handedly. His corner that led to the opener was perfect. On the counter, Del Piero than drew Taylor Regan into a mistake which led to the decisive second goal via then penalty spot.
Stein Huysegems (Wellington Phoenix)
The big Belgian has been a constant of Team Of The Week this season. Netting his tenth goal of the season, Huysegems is atop the Golden boot charts. However he is hardly a selfish player; on Friday he provided three shot assists, whilst also passing at 83% success. Huysegems leads from the front in defence for the Phoenix as well, making two interceptions and two clearances during the contest.