That’s a big hit
See what stood out for all the right and wrong reasons in the fourth round of the A-League season.
Arguably the best goalkeeper in the competition, Lopar has not been fazed by the continuous pressure that his defense has come under. He made six saves in his side’s clash against Brisbane Roar. He saved all five of the Roar’s shots on target and was the key reason why his team kept a clean sheet in the draw.
McDonald put in his best performance so far in his return to Australia. McDonald had five shots for the game, three of which were inside of the box, demonstrating his ability to get into attacking positions. He scored his first goal of the season and was unlucky not to add another as his shot hit the crossbar. His 93 per cent passing efficiency as well as six ball recoveries reflects a complete performance.
The news boys on the block haven’t wasted any time establishing themselves in the league, boasting a record of three wins and one loss after four games. Their win against Melbourne Victory establishes early bragging rights against their local rivals, and ending the round fourth on the table demonstrates they’re one of the in-form teams of the competition.
Noone put on a complete performance in his side’s 3-2 win over the Wellington Phoenix. Noone set up the opening goal, his cross into the box allow Conor Metcalfe to find space and head the first goal of the game. Also helped ice the game, converting from the penalty spot. Went at 66 per cent for pass completion and seven ball recoveries, showing that he put in a shift defensively. Yet this was all done in only 68 minutes of playing time.
Central Coast Mariners
The Mariners have a new look under former Matildas coach Alen Stajcic. A new philosophy in playing style plus new recruits meant it was only going to be a matter of time before everything clicked. Their performance against Perth demonstrated that they’re no longer the laughing stock of A-League and will look to build upon their performance.
The most disappointing team by far this season, the Newcastle Jets have struggled to get anything going. Jets manager Ernie Merrick said there is no quick fix to their goal-scoring drought and that problems linger in the dressing room. Their 4-1 defeat at the hands of Sydney FC was disheartening and the season looks to be a long one.
Inconsistency has proven to be a problem for the Victory in the early parts of the season. The defensive issues looked to have been solved in Round 1, but three weeks later and defensive lapses have been all too common. The most established team in Melbourne have failed to defeat both Melbourne-based teams this season and are currently ranked as the worst of the three Melbourne teams.