Let’s look at who performed and who under-performed in Round 14 of the A-League.
The Sydney man continued his impressive form for his new side against the Jets. He set up Adam Le Fondre’s opening goal and then scored the go-ahead goal, which would go on to be the winner. He made 23 of his 27 passes (85 per cent accuracy). His highly efficient distribution was on display.
Of his five key passes for the match, two of them were assists. Castro set up the opening two goals of the game to get his side off to a brilliant start. He put in an impressive shift in attacking midfield in which he found plenty of the ball and was efficient with it, making 45 of his 52 passes (87 per cent).
(AAP Image/Tony McDonough)
Matt Simon is still part of an A-League list for a single reason: to be a large presence in the box, and to annoy defenders and opposing supporters alike to sway results. And Simon played this role to perfection in his game against the Victory. He was the cause of many scuffles and unsettled the Victory side so they made sloppy decisions in defence. It led to two penalties in injury time and Simon stepped up both times from the spot to win the game.
Ernie Merrick was sacked midweek, as the club thought a new manager would be a welcome change. It proved to make little difference, though. Signs were encouraging early, but the Jets were beaten by a better side and still have a long way to go to be competitive again.
Western Sydney Wanderers
The Wanderers have been a surprise packet this season for all the wrong reasons. The Wanderers have under-performed this season and their performance against the Phoenix did the manager Markus Babbel no favours in proving he’s the right man for the job. It looks like their season is over.
The Victory had the lead twice and threw it away twice. While the two penalties they conceded in injury time were contentious, the Victory looked unsettled in defence and really should’ve secured at least a point. The red card to manager Marco Kurz also added insult to injury as next week the side will be without their boss.
The introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) into the English Premier League this season has been met with criticism due to the controversies that it led to: things from taking too long, drawing arbitrary lines for offsides, and inconsistent application of VAR and laws.
A-League clubs have become accustomed to signing foreign playmakers over the years. We have had the likes of Thomas Broich, Milos Ninkovic and Diego Castro embrace the league. But there is a certain trait that makes some of these foreign players stand out.