There were 28 goals scored in an eventful weekend of football and two penalty saves, in what was an entertaining round for the neutral. Check out my choice of player from each team who made a difference, in Round 2.
Henry Hore was excellent from the opening minute of the game when he clinically finished off a goal that broke the deadlock. He all but ensured the game was over when he scored the third goal for Brisbane Roar in the 51st minute.
Hore was unfortunate not to score a hat-trick with four of his five shots on target. Along with that he finished the game with nine touches in the opposition box and always looked threatening in the final third. He summed everything up in his post-match interview: “We’ll just keep going game on game, getting better.”
Robert Mak stood out for Sydney FC as he was the only one that looked like he was up for the contest. He had four shots, to go with four touches in the opposition box and six passes in the final third. He provided Max Burgess with an opportunity to score a goal in the 12th minute with an exquisite cross and Mak always looked lively.
It wasn’t for lack of trying on his part that Sydney FC were abysmal in every aspect of the game and should’ve lost by more than three goals.
Alex Paulsen didn’t have much to do until he had to pick the ball out of the back of the net in the 59th minute, due to a clinical header from Perth Glory defender Mark Beevers, which he could do nothing about. When the game was in the balance at 2-1 he made a save from a penalty taken by Perth Glory striker Adam Taggart.
It would’ve been two points dropped if not for Paulsen’s heroics. Wellington Phoenix captain, Alex Rufer, summed up his display: “He’s on fire and we’re really happy for him.”
Mark Beevers gave Perth Glory a life line as the equaliser he scored came in the 59th minute. There’s no doubt that Beevers put in a good shift. He summed up the loss well in his post-match interview: “We shot ourselves in the foot. Go back to the drawing board and see what we can do different.”
Western Sydney Wanderers
Lachlan Brook scored a stunning goal in the sixth minute from outside the box. He followed that up with another goal in the 13th minute, which made it a brace for him and appeared to suck the life out of Western United. Brook finished the game with five shots on target. In his post-match interview he summed up his current mindset well: “I’m absolutely ecstatic. Just try and enjoy my football again.”
Daniel Penha was probably the only Western United player that could hold his hand up and say he had a real go. He had two shots on target to go with six touches in the opposition box and nine passes into the final third. He showed glimpses of his class, in what was a respectable second-half performance from Western United, given all five goals conceded by them were in the first half.
Daniel Penha rides a challenge from Aziz Behich (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
Central Coast Mariners
Brian Kaltak finished the game with a goal in the 91st minute that got Central Coast Mariners back into the game with a clinical finish. He had two touches in the opposition box and 14 passes into the final third. To go with that, he won five of his six duels.
Filip Kurto kept Macarthur FC in the game as he made two quality saves in the seventh and 39th minute to deny Central Coast Mariners. He would be disappointed not to have kept a clean sheet, but there wasn’t much he could do about the goal scored by Kaltak.
Bruno Fornaroli finished the game with four goals but it could’ve quite easily been six as he hit the post in the 51st minute and missed a chance in the 89th minute. All four of his goals came in the first half, which all but put the game to bed as Melbourne Victory led 4-1 at half-time.
Despite that, the Socceroo refused to rest on his laurels and summed everything up well in a post-match interview: “The most important thing today was the three points. It was a great comeback, because we let them score the first goal.”
Melbourne Victory’s Bruno Fornaroli celebrates a goal against Sydney FC. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)
Clayton Taylor brought life into the game for the Newcastle Jets with two second-half goals. The game appeared to be over at half-time as the Jets trailed by three goals, but they didn’t deter Taylor who displayed remarkable grit and determination to give his team a spark.
He was unfortunate not to score a hat-trick with a goal wrongly ruled out due to Apostolos Stamatelopoulos apparently wrongly adjudged offside in the lead-up to what would’ve been a goal for Taylor, a couple of minutes prior to him scoring his second goal.
Joe Gauci was incredible. The game was in the balance at 2-0 and Melbourne City were awarded a penalty, which the young gloveman saved. What it did was shift the whole momentum of the game. His coach Carl Veart, summed it up well in a post-match interview: “Gauci made a save that changed the game.”
Marin Jakolis was perhaps the only Melbourne City player who could hold his up high. He never stopped trying and passed the ball around accurately. Jakolis played a lone hand in what was a disappointing performance from Melbourne City.