We're at the unofficial midway point of the season. Why unofficial, you ask? Well, there's 27 rounds to the season, we can't really have a halfway point in an odd number of rounds. 14 down, 13 to go. Enough chit chat, let's get down to business.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Any game that ends with a 3-2 result is worthy of being chosen for the game of the week, again, whichever way you slice it. Well, almost any. We had two 3-2 results this week.
Brisbane vs Newcastle was a crazy game. Firstly, Newcastle won. Not the biggest upset of the season, but I don't think I quite saw the 7th placed Jets sticking it to the 3rd placed Roar.
This game had everything but a red card, which is probably a good thing in the thick of it. Would've added a hell of an edge to it but we still saw a great contest highlighted by some fantastic goals both ways.
GOAL OF THE WEEK
Again another week has provided us with a selection of great goals. I was going to go with a 3 2 1 voting, but there's more than 3 goals that I liked to choose from.
I couldn't go past the incredible goal from Ivan Franjic. The right back executed a beautiful half volley with the outside of his boot on the edge of the penalty area to give Melbourne City a 1-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers. And I'm a sucker for goals like this. The fact that he managed to score it off the half volley made the feat just a touch above the rest. And believe me, there were some great goals this round.
THE UNHERALDED HERO
I'm going to go with an actual unheralded hero this week. Has anyone else noticed the impact of Andrew Nabbout this season?
The winger scored his fourth goal of the season against the Roar, and his overall impact in the Jets' attack has shown how much he's grown since his Melbourne Victory days. Maturity, tenacity and speed are among his biggest assets in his game and he's got nowhere to go but up.
I always love an A League milestone. They always give us a chance to reflect on how far this league has come in 12 seasons. This week saw the 4000th A League goal scored, and of all the goals this round, it had to be a goalkeeping howler. Wellington Phoenix didn't mind as Krishna notched up his 7th goal of the season.
This round also brought about quite a few fantastic goals, making up for the lack of them last week.
While I gave my goal of the week to Ivan Franjic, there were several contenders that were all incredible in their own ways.
The most moral boosting of these would've been the goals from Tommy Oar and James Troisi. The fringe Socceroos are both in their second stints with their respective clubs and had gone goalless all season until now.
Oar executed a brilliantly controlled half volley, while Troisi curled a perfectly placed shot into the top left corner.
Who doesn't love a good goal?
It's just a tad hilarious that the 4000th A League goal would also be one of the worst things of this round. It was a howler of all sorts, one of only a few this season but it really should've been a routine save for Liam Reddy. He'll be relieved that his team managed to win 2-1 in the end but mate, watch your line.
Red cards and match review panels have been a theme for the past couple of weeks. Not exactly a good look for the league either, when twice in two weeks you have players who score but also get sent off. Roy Krishna may be a great player for Wellington this season, but he went from hero to zero with his careless tackle that had him sent off. That being said, props to the referee who made the call. Took an absolute eagle eyed ref to spot the studs up challenge, I couldn't see it until I watched it in slow motion.
If we could slow down with the off the ball incidents and red cards, that'd be great.
I'm really over all the headlines that tout Sydney FC as the A League's invincibles. They only just got by this week against strugglers Central Coast, courtesy of a goal that should've been ruled offside. Secondly, it's not the first time they've been bailed out.
If I recall correctly, while Brisbane Roar ran riot during a long undefeated run, they were beating all the teams convincingly. I feel like it won't be much longer until Sydney suffer their first defeat of the season, by who is yet to be seen at this stage. With big clashes coming up against rivals Western Sydney and Melbourne Victory, Sydney are set for a couple of monster games. Australia Day against the Victory will be a supercharged game with stakes high on both sides, I can't wait to see how it goes down.