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The Roar


The A-League's goalkeepers don't get enough credit

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Roar Guru
5th March, 2019

Goalkeepers are possibly the most important part of a football team, but how good are the A-League’s keepers?

Excluding the crazy Central Coast Mariners vs Brisbane Roar game, there were five goals in four games in Round 20, which shows the goalkeepers might actually be better than we think.

Of course, a conceded goal is the whole team’s fault – not just the defenders and goalkeepers – but keepers contribute.

If the attacker has taken a good shot, but a goalkeeper saves it, then it is a better save by the goalkeeper. But is it easier for a goalkeeper to come out with a better save than the attacker has a shot?

I’m not a goalkeeper, so I can’t answer that question personally, but about 80 per cent of shots taken on target seem to be saved.

The reason why I didn’t count the Mariners vs Roar game is that – despite how good some of those goals were – pretty much every one of them came from poor defending. Despite how good Eric Bautheac’s bicycle kick was, he was open in front of goal and would have never been in that position had his marker been tracking his run.


I’m not taking anything away from the beauty of the goal, I’m just saying that the Mariners shouldn’t have let him make a run into that position.

Three teams in recent weeks, there have been making plenty of chances without scoring, but is that down to poor finishes or great goalkeeping?

First of all, the story of the Newcastle Jets’ season has been creating chances but not managing to convert them. Against Wellington, they had five shots on target but only managed one goal, meaning there were four times that Filip Kurto produced a better save than Newcastle’s shot.

So 80 per cent of the time the Phoenix goalkeeper stood up the attack.

Secondly, in the game against Victory, City had an astonishing 19 shots, with only one on target. That’s not down to good goalkeeping, it’s just poor strikes.

However, in their 3-1 loss against Newcastle, they had an extraordinary seven shots on target, which means that veteran goalkeeper Glen Moss made six saves.

Last of all, the last time Sydney FC scored a goal from open play and won the game was over a month ago. So are they not clinical, or are the goalkeepers too good?

These three teams have all been troubled in recent weeks, but is that their fault, or are the A-League recruiting goalkeepers who are actually better than people suggest?