Round 18 of the A-League promised plenty, with a jam-packed round of derby clashes.
Torrential rain did more damage to Sydney’s lead on top of the ladder than any rival on the field has in recent weeks, and it was raining goals across the country.
Here’s a quick look at the best and worst of the round!
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THEY SAID IT:
“For me the A-League’s not a developmental league for the referees, because players go out there and play for results. Sometimes decisions influence the game.” – Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay was unhappy after defender Tim Payne’s controversial second yellow card in their 4-2 loss to Perth Glory.
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MAN OF THE ROUND:
The Olyroos hero continued his hot form with two goals for Perth in their 4-2 win over Wellington.
His amazing bursts of speed and high leaps have become a vital weapon for Glory.
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Adelaide United may have lost against Brisbane but ex-Roar forward Ben Halloran provided the moment of the match.
His 58th-minute half-volley from just outside the area after controlling a loose ball gave Roar ‘keeper Jamie Young no chance and was his third goal in his past two matches.
Melbourne Victory – Robbie Kruse (hamstring); Melbourne City – Jamie Maclaren (minor hamstring); Adelaide – Ryan Strain (hamstring); Newcastle – Ben Kantarovski (quad); Central Coast – Kye Rowles (leg).
Mohamed Toure, the younger brother of Olyroo Al Hassan Toure, became the third-youngest A-League player when he came off the bench late in Adelaide’s 2-1 loss to Brisbane on Saturday.
The 15-year-old didn’t look out of place either, running with pace, strength and skill at a tiring Roar defence.
Are Robbie Fowler and the Roar peaking at the right time in the season?
After an indifferent start, the Roar are now in the top six with just one defeat from their past seven matches. The additions of Scott McDonald and Corey Brown have improved the team.
With Sydney FC set to enter a chaotic period involving the Asian Champions League campaign, A-League officials will be scrambling to find a convenient date for the Sydney derby following its washout.
WHAT’S NEXT: Melbourne City’s visit to Eden Park to face Wellington will be worth watching, while there’ll be plenty of desperation in the clash between sixth-placed Brisbane and seventh-placed Western United.