Following their mammoth success at Wembley a fortnight ago, the new-look Italian national team have had their gems gain mass attention across the footballing globe.
There were goals galore in an action-packed weekend of A-League action.
Central Coast Mariners 1, Adelaide United 3
The Central Coast Mariners took on Adelaide United in the hope of getting their first home win against United since 2015. A win would have put the Mariners in the top six.
The signs looked promising early with the Mariners awarded a penalty. Milan Duric scored from the spot to give the hosts a shock 1-0 lead.
United responded with the equaliser in 26th minute, courtesy of Ben Halloran’s shot curling past Mark Birighitti. Nikola Mileusnic reversed the deficit in the 38th minute with his volley into the top corner after being put through by Michael Maria’s cutback.
On the stroke of half time, Kristian Fardal Opseth doubled the lead, firing home from close range after finishing off the Ben Halloran through ball. United took a 3-1 lead into the break and it would be how it stayed as both teams failed to add to their goal tally in the second half. United extended their winning streak to three games.
Player of the game: Ben Halloran
Halloran was a presence in attack for Adelaide United, getting them off the mark with the first goal, and his assist iced the game before half time.
Western United 0, Newcastle Jets 1
The Newcastle Jets were after their first win when they played Western United in Geelong. The Jets got off the hook early when Nikolai Topor-Stanley was cleared of any wrongdoing when he looked to have given away a penalty for a handball and taking down Besart Berisha right after.
The Jets got a hold of the match thereafter. Dimitri Petratos’ brilliant through ball was finished by Angus Thurgate.
The visitors took a shock 1-0 lead into the break and were content to sit on the lead. United came attacking in waves only to be denied by Glen Moss, who made three impressive saves to ensure his team took all three points. The Jets’ shock win on the road opened their account for the 2019/20 season.
Player of the game: Angus Thurgate
The teenager impressed once again against United. His goal paved the way for his side’s victory. He was also impressive with his passing, going at 70 per cent accuracy by foot, setting up attacking play and getting teammates involved.
Brisbane Roar 4, Melbourne City 3
It was the first A-League game to played at Dolphin Oval in Redcliffe and Brisbane Roar were hoping to turn their season around in front of the locals.
But Melbourne City got off to the flyer. Jamie Maclaren in his return from injury scored a double in the sixth and 29th minute.
In the 50th minute, the locals would finally have something to cheer about as the Roar scored through Roy O’Donovan, but the celebrations were short lived as Maclaren completed his hat trick a minute later.
Roar youngster Aaron Amadi-Holloway restored hope on the hour mark, reducing the deficit. Amadi-Holloway was taken down in the box and rewarded with a penalty. O’Donovan scored from the spot, levelling the scores at 3-3 in the 64th minute.
Denis Genreau was pinged for handball when his block contacted his hand. The decision went to VAR and a penalty was given to the Roar. O’Donovan stepped up once again to complete the hat trick and put his side in front 4-3 in the 83rd minute. It would be the game-winner as the Roar revived their season in an exciting seven-goal game.
Player of the game: Roy O’Donovan
His hat trick was pivotal in sparking the comeback for his side. After his side only scored one goal in the first five games of the season, O’Donovan scored three in 33 minutes, securing the three points for his side.
Sydney FC 2, Melbourne Victory 1
Sydney met Victory for the first time this season in their traditional Big Blue rivalry. Sydney were expected to win comfortably at home but were left stunned as Josh Hope found Ola Toivonen for the first goal of the game on the stroke of half time, giving the Victory a 1-0 lead at the break.
Victory would continue to hold onto the lead in the second half, until Adam le Fondre equalised from a Sydney corner, heading past Lawrence Thomas and Thomas Deng in the 61st minute.
Kosta Barbarouses finally scored to take the lead for Sydney, capping off an impressive display against his old side.
Player of the game: Kosta Barbarouses
Kosta Barbarouses would have wanted to make an impression against his old side after his controversial move in the off-season. And he did exactly that with an impressive performance in which he was effective by foot, going at 81 per cent for passing and scoring the match-winning goal to break Melbourne Victory hearts.