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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

THE FIVE KEY MOMENTS...

More importantly, there were no VAR dramas this week with the referees finally using the technology appropriately. These were the five moments that changed everything this week...

RETRE TAKES HIS CHANCE IN DE JONG'S ABSENCE

With Siem De Jong going down with an unfortunate hamstring injury after being subbed on in the Sydney derby, Steve Corica needed an answer and he might have found one in the form of Paulo Retre.
After putting in an ordinary shift against Adelaide in the Cup Final, Retre responded brilliantly against Melbourne City, notching up a goal and an assist.
The former City man netted Sydney’s opener against his old club by reacting quickest to Rhyan Grant’s drilled cross by providing a deft finish through the legs of Eugene Galekovic.
He then teed up Adam Le Fondre for the Sky Blues’ second, showing fantastic awareness to pick out the Englishman who then obliged to finish delicately over Galekovic.
Retre was a squad player under Graham Arnold last season but did his job when he was required, and he did the same on Friday by replacing De Jong, but can he keep up this form up for last season’s premiers?

BAUMJOHANN THE NEXT BROICH?

Alexander Baumjohann has been oozing class for the Wanderers ever since he put in a solid display against rivals Sydney FC in the FFA Cup semi-final, but on Saturday against the Nix he brought a complete performance across the ditch by netting his first for the red and black.
Bruce Kamau peeled away from the Wellington defence well to collect Raul Llorente’s ball in behind, before showing excellent composure to lay the ball off to the German who empathically smashed in the opener into the roof of Filip Kurto’s net.
The 31-year-old was sublime, displaying an awareness on a par with Milos Ninkovic and Keisuke Honda, whilst playing with a flair and swagger that was reminiscent of his German counterpart Thomas Broich, a two-time Johnny Warren medal winner with Roar.
Baumjohann looks like he could be in the conversation for that same award by the end of the season, but can he replicate the same sort of impact that Broich had on the league and add to the growing list of successful foreigners that the A-League has had?

SAME PLACE, SAME RESULT FOR ANTONIS

Victory faced off against the Jets on Saturday night in the Grand Final rematch at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Just like last season’s decider, Kevin Muscat’s men ran out 1-0 winners, with Terry Antonis popping up yet again from outside the area to net the winner.
Against Glory in round 2 it was Antonis who unleashed a venomous strike with his left foot from just outside the area to rattle both posts before it went in and the 24-year-old’s strike was almost a mirror image in Newcastle.
Like the goal against Glory, Antonis received the ball from Keisuke Honda just outside the area before shifting the ball onto his left foot and unleashing the ball into the bottom right corner.
The goals were very similar except for the fact that the strike on Saturday didn’t hit the post before going in and probably more crucially, it helped the Victory to three points this time around.

ONE OF THE GREATEST SAVES IN A-LEAGUE HISTORY

Wow. Just wow from Jamie Young.
The English shotstopper, who was named as the league’s most outstanding goalkeeper last season, produced arguably one of the greatest saves in A-League history against Perth on Saturday.
Roar were under the pump early on in the west, as Jason Davidson picked out Andy Keogh with a pinpoint cross although Young was equal to the Irishman’s first header – destined for the top corner – before getting up quickly to deny his second header by tipping it onto the crossbar.
We’ve seen some cracking saves down the years, but this is definitely up there due to the shear athleticism to get up as quickly as he did and the distance Keogh was from the goal.
It will take some taking to beat that this season, and if Young keeps this up he will be claiming keeper of the year yet again, but he needs more help from his defenders to claim a few more clean sheets.

...AND ONE OF THE WORST...

Wow. Just wow from Ben Kennedy.
A day later in Gosford, we saw the nadir of goalkeeping from Ben Kennedy, which was similar to the Loris Karius howler for Liverpool in last season’s Champions League final.
Down 2-0 at home to Adelaide and with Craig Goodwin lining up a free-kick from about 25m out, you would think Kennedy would have it covered.
However, Goodwin’s effort somehow slipped through the gloves of the 31-year-old, summing up a dreadful outing for Mike Mulvey’s men.
Even prior to that clanger, Kennedy has been inconsistent, and with a defence already showing cracks, the Mariners may be assessing other goalkeeping options.

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