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The A-League players who were the difference for their teams in Round 10

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Roar Guru
1st January, 2024
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There were 27 goals in six matches and no draws. In four of the six games, the winning team had less possession than their opponents. There was a game where a team finished with nine men and the final game of the round had a goal of the season contender.

Take a look at who made a difference for their team in Round 10.

Melbourne City

Tolgay Arslan was all class in an utter demolition of a deplorable Brisbane Roar.

The 33-year-old provided two assists and scored a goal. Arslan made the difference early when he passed the ball to Marin Jakolis who provided an assist for the all-important second goal of the game scored by Jamie Maclaren in the 14th minute.

The German was insightful post-match: “It was enjoyable. We played as a team. We enjoyed playing together. I feel sorry for Brisbane.” Along with that it was revealed that he has taken youngster Benjamin Mazzeo under his wing, who scored the last goal in the 8-1 win.

Interim coach Aurelio Vidmar believes in Arslan: “To be honest he should be the best player in the league.”

(Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

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Brisbane Roar

Rylan Brownlie gave Brisbane Roar a very slight glimmer of hope when he scored what proved to be Roar’s only goal of the game in the 62nd minute, which made the deficit four goals.

Sydney FC

Joe Lolley put in a performance that was extremely impressive. The 31-year-old helped the Sky Blues control the balance of play and the tempo of the game, as well as creating nine chances.

The goal that broke the deadlock was brought about from a quality corner taken by the Englishman.

The icing on the cake was the assist he provided for substitute Fabio Gomes in the 94th minute, which gave Sydney a 3-1 win.

After the game Lolley put the game into perspective: “That was tough. It showed character. Important three points.”

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Wellington Phoenix

Benjamin Old provided the pass that led to Phoenix substitute Oscar van Hattum providing the assist for the equaliser scored by Kosta Barbarouses in the 81st minute.

The 21-year-old worked hard as he won 15 out of 22 duels and was a positive to take from the game for his team, in what was a tough night for the Phoenix.

Unfortunately, the Phoenix left the game empty-handed, which was summed up by Old: “It’s obviously tough.”

Newcastle Jets

Trent Buhagiar showed that he has the capability to deliver on his potential. The only aspect lacking from his game has been end product, which Buhagiar delivered in a pivotal 2-0 win for the Jets.

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The 25-year-old attacker delivered by scoring both goals in the game, within 13 minutes of each other. The first goal was a goal Buhagiar would normally miss, but he headed a pinpoint cross from Dane Ingham into the back of the net.

The second goal he scored was brought about from a marauding run from the Jets defensive half by Buhagiar, which he cooly slotted into the back of the net.

Post-match, the former Sky Blue showed he has a team-first mentality: “Happy to end the year on a high. It’s massive, you want to win all your games at home and make it a fortress.”

Western United

Thomas Heward-Belle put in a solid display for a Western United team that sit at the bottom of the table. Despite that, neither of the goals scored by the Jets were his fault.

The calibre of goalkeeper that Heward-Belle is was there for all to see, as the former Sky Blue made seven saves.

Melbourne Victory

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Zinedine Machach broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute with a clinical finish that gave Joe Gauci no chance.

The 27-year-old created three chances and was a constant threat in the final third.

The Frenchman gave great insight into why Melbourne Victory sit equal on points with top of the table Wellington Phoenix: “Everyone is happy. The boss gave me the full confidence.”

(Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images)

Adelaide United

Joe Gauci made some key saves for Adelaide United that kept them in the game and there was nothing he could’ve done to prevent the two goals that Melbourne Victory scored.

Central Coast Mariners

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Josh Nisbet has been a revelation for Central Coast Mariners and the Round 10 clash with Perth Glory, he put in a typical Josh Nisbet performance.

The 24-year-old provided the assist for the equaliser scored by Jacob Farrell in the 28th minute, which made the score 1-1.

Once again Nisbet went about his job with no fuss. He provided the pass that led to the penalty won by Central Coast Mariners, which made the score 3-1 in their favour.

Nisbet created seven chances, along with having six touches in the opposition box and nine passes into the final third.

He summed up the Mariners’ comeback win well: “Brilliant turnaround by the boys.”

Perth Glory

Stefan Colakovski provided a pass that led to the opening goal of the game scored by Adam Taggart in the 18th minute.

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The 23-year-old got the Glory back into the game, as he brought the deficit back to one goal, with a sublime finish in the 52nd minute. The former Melbourne City player gave his team a life line and some hope, but to no avail.

Despite looking the most likely to help Glory get something out of the game, Colakovski was substituted off in the 81st minute, but shouldn’t have been taken off as he looked the most threatening.

His post-match interview was insightful: “It was a great finish, but it counts for nothing now.”

Western Sydney Wanderers

Nicolas Milanovic provided two assists in the opening 12 minutes of the game.

The 22-year-old put in a fantastic shift, as he created five chances and always looked threatening when in possession, which meant the Bulls found it tough to contain the influence Milanovic had on the game.

Macarthur FC

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Jake Hollman gave Macarthur FC a lifeline in the 20th minute with an outstanding goal that went into the back of the net, after hitting the post, with an audacious shot from distance. It has to be a goal of the season contender!

The 22-year-old showed that he is a great prospect as he worked tirelessly with and without the ball, as he won nine duels and made three tackles.

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