Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A-League team of the week, round eight

WITH Newcastle finally registering it's first win, a couple of their experienced players feature in this week's team, while Adelaide's part in a pulsating match of the season gets them three players. Ditto the Mariners who had three expereinced men in attack to thank for their impressive win over Sydney. Throw in Lazaridis and it's an experienced 3-4-3 for round eight;

Robert Bajic, AU, keeper; none of the custodians really dominated their match round eight. Kennedy had his best game of the season and first clean sheet since the corresponding Knights game in round one, but it was Bajic who helped keep Adelaide alive at Dome, particularly with one outstanding save to deny Muscat from the free-kick when the score was still 0-0. Soon enough he was releasing Burns with an early through which led to the goal. His distribution has been very good.

Kristian Rees, AU, right stopper; outstanding performance, especially in the second half when Melbourne looked very threatening on the counter-attack, as the would open up the United defence any minute. Some of his work in shutting down Allsopp, both on the ground and in the air was excellent, and he made a couple of great blocks. One of the players of the round.

Paul Okon, NJ, sweeper; great to see Okon back to some of his better work, comfortable bringing the ball out of defence and covering the defence better than he has for much of the season. The couple of times the Knights did look like getting in behind, Okon was close enough to deal with the situation.

Daniel Piorkowski, MV, left stopper (pictured above, courtesy of; while his fellow defenders Vargas and Leijer have grabbed most of the attention so far, Piorkowski has been as solid as anyone, and his work on Veart was exemplary, clinical and strong. While his work on the ball could be better, he is a simple player, winning the ball and releasing. After impressing in his debut NSL season a few years back for the Melbourne Knights, it’s not surprising to seem him doing well here.

Tom Pondeljak, CCM, right midfield; while he felt his way into the first quarter of the game, his work after that was instrumental in helping the Mariners pin back Sydney, particularly their best defender Ceccoli.

Angelo Costanzo, AU, defensive central midfield; shifted into the middle for the frist time this season to give Adelaide a physical edge, Costanzo lived up to his recent good from with a powerful display, putting a couple of hits on Fred and throwing his weight around against the likes of Muscat and Brebner. His aggressive work gave his teammates the lift and confidence to compete.

Nick Carle, NJ, attacking central midfield; with Musailk and Thompson nearby, and Coveny, Griffiths and Rodriguez in front, Carle was as influential at providing some ammunition as he has been all season. Playing as high as possible, his re-cycling of the ball was excellent, and seemed more prepared to shoot than he has been. His influence in guiding the Jets to their first win gets him in ahead of the Roars consistent McKay. Better signs.

Stan Lazaridis, PG, left midfield; while much wasn’t going right for the Glory on it’s 10 anniversary, Stan the Man continued his good start to the season but giving Stuart McLaren more than the odd headache, so much so that Harold Seo was moved onto him at the start of the second period.

Reinaldo, QR, right attacker; while he essentially plays through the middle, the Brazilian’s mobility and ability to get wide has been a feature of the Roar season. While his overall play was busy, troubling the big Perth central duo Harwell and Kovacevic, he also opulled across to the flanks to trouble Tarka and Coyne, and set up the winner by going past Tarka down the right and crossing to the near post, a move he has used a couple of times already this season. Continues his excellent form.

Damien Mori, CCM, central striker; what more can you say about the Frog man? Always on hand, always the predator, he sniffs around for the slightest opening and pounces. His finishes for both goals were simply too clinical, a class act.

Stewart Petrie, CCM, left attacker; playing as a left midfielder in his first game back from a quick trip to Scotland, he set up both of Mori’s goals. Pouncing on a mistake from Rudan and Fyfe and playing the ball past a static Bingley for the first, before crossing between the static Bingley and Ceccoli for the second . Overall workrate was excellent and has combined well with Vidmar in the two games he’s played in front of him.


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