Heroic Moments: Ipswich kid topples Hyundai A-League giants with redemption moment
He might not be a household name yet but Dylan Wenzel-Halls has always possessed the capacity to turn heads and raise eyebrows.
In 2018, the 21-year-old broke a National Premier Leagues QLD record after scoring seven goals in a single match for Western Pride.
The previous year, Wenzel-Halls scored an incredible last-minute free kick in the Grand Final to land Western Pride their first ever state title.
As a youth player for Olympic FC, he amassed 99 goals in three years.
It is feats like these which have propelled the former St. Peter Claver College student onto the Hyundai A-League stage.
And after the Brisbane Roar striker’s sensational all-action performance against Sydney FC on Friday night, it is clear that the young gun has not been elevated into the national spotlight through sheer goal-scoring alone.
Wenzel-Halls was a part of Brisbane’s youth program but was deemed not good enough to crack the senior grade in 2016.
That was a crossroads moment for the Ipswich-born talent, but rather than lament a missed opportunity his reserves of hunger and motivation only strengthened.
It made Friday’s stunning last-minute winner a brilliant moment of personal redemption for hard yards churned in the state tier, and the fighting qualities which have enabled his return to Brisbane were on full display against the Sky Blues.
As was the forward’s burgeoning reputation as a serial pest.
A cheeky tug of Rhyan Grant’s mullet took the meaning of harassing defenders to a quite literal level, and it was his willingness to go the extra mile which resulted in the Brisbane starlet charging down Ben Warland’s clearance before somehow mustering the energy to thrash the winning goal past Andrew Redmayne.
A night to remember for Powell
What a remarkable February it has been for Izaack Powell.
On the first of the month, the teenager clinched the Foxtel National Y-League Grand Final with a 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.
Last Friday, he was summoned from the substitutes bench for his Hyundai A-League debut and helped stabilise a Roar defence on the brink of defensive crisis.
Powell became the youngest ever player to represent Roar in the competition aged 16 years and 361 days, and managed to nullify an Iranian FIFA World Cup striker in Reza Ghoochannejhad in the process.
Like a fine red wine
Perth Glory fans may have winced at the sight of Diego Castro flinging himself in the air to establish an unassailable two-goal buffer against Melbourne Victory on Sunday.
The Spaniard has started just six matches this season amid fitness concerns, but Castro’s athletic volley should calm any anxiety surrounding his ability to put his body on the line to push Glory toward silverware.
Should the 36-year-old nail that achievement, there’s no doubt about the little magician’s status as an all-time Hyundai A-League great.
Kiwi keepers turn on the style
It was a case of the past and future coming together on Thursday night when the unexpected heroics of two New Zealand goalkeepers stole the headlines in Newcastle Jets 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix.
Jets custodian Glen Moss and Phoenix shot stopper Oli Sail, who was formerly Moss’ understudy at the New Zealand club, offered up a goal-keeping masterclass.
Moss usurped Ante Covic as the keeper with the most penalty saves (10) in the Hyundai A-League after denying Roy Krishna from the spot, a stop which may act as a saving grace for the Jets’ season.
Meanwhile, Sail truly announced himself to the Hyundai A-League as he repelled Newcastle a string of fine interventions.
Bonevacia evokes memories of Ono
An injury to Kwame Yeboah saw Roly Bonevacia restored in the central attacking role on which he has made his Hyundai A-League name in Saturday’s clash with Central Coast Mariners.
It was a shift the Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder relished.
The Dutchman served as the prime conductor of a 2-0 win for Markus Babbel’s side, registering a lovely assist for Jaushua Sotirio’s match-sealer.
He created seven chances overall on the night – a figure that has only ever been surpassed by Shinji Ono and Alexander Baumjohann in club history.