Hyundai A-League Team of the Week: Round 1
There were some exceptional performances to kick-off the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season but who managed to get into our Team of the Week?
We’ve gone with a 4-4-2 formation with a number of new faces to the competition making the cut.
Did we get our starting XI right for Round 1?
Eugene Galekovic (Melbourne City)
The experienced gloveman turned back the clock with a fantastic performance in the Melbourne Derby win over Victory. He finished the match with six saves, coming up big late on as Victory went searching for an equaliser. One of the best keepers in the Hyundai A-League’s history, Galekovic showed all his qualities, making it interesting for coach Warren Joyce to choose his number one with Mark Birighitti also on City’s books.
Ritchie De Laet (Melbourne City)
As skipper for the night, De Laet was an absolute workhorse for Warren Joyce’s side, strong and fierce in the challenge and also relished a licence to drive forward from the right and sent in multiple dangerous crosses. He looks like he'll be a genuine presence on the field in both attack and defence, and capped a fine captain’s display by hauling City back into the contest on the cusp of halftime.
Michael Jakobsen (Adelaide United)
The devastating Dane was superb in what was a well-executed defensive game-plan which totally stifled anything Sydney FC tried to throw at the Reds. He led from the back and was a chief organiser in a well-disciplined Adelaide display.
Kalifa Cisse (Central Coast Mariners)
An encouraging debut from the former Reading man, who demonstrated all of his experience under persistent pressure and gained possession a game-high 10 times to go with his 13 clearances.
Scott Galloway (Adelaide United)
Talk about making an impression in front of the home fans! Galloway got up and down the left flank tirelessly for the Reds and kept Sydney FC’s marquee man Siem de Jong very quiet. He also scored Adelaide’s goal with a stunning strike which totally bamboozled Sky blues gloveman Andrew Redmayne.
Sarpreet Singh (Wellington Phoenix)
Hard to believe Singh is still just 19 given the maturity of his display against the Jets. Deployed in the key playmaking role by coach Mark Rudan, Singh was at the centre of a lot of the good things the Phoenix did, with his pinpoint free-kick to Steven Taylor leading to their opening goal.
Keisuke Honda (Melbourne Victory)
There was a lot of hype around Victory’s new marquee man…and he more than lived up to it! Honda was the chief orchestrator all night at Marvel Stadium, showing real predatory instinct to slide between two City defenders and head Victory into the lead. His vision, passing and athleticism was a sight to behold.
Eric Bautheac (Brisbane Roar)
Plenty of hype in Brisbane surrounds new recruits Tobias Mikkelsen and Alex Lopez, but it's Bautheac who looks set to have a huge influence this season following a stellar performance full of creativity in attack.
Jason Davidson (Perth Glory)
Despite normally being a left-back, Davidson’s role as a wing-back for Glory gets him in our side further forward. The Caltex Socceroos defender was brilliant in his first Hyundai A-League appearance, causing the Wanderers plenty of problems out wide. He outpointed another Caltex Socceroo in Josh Risdon in an excellent one-on-one duel.
Adam Taggart (Brisbane Roar)
He may have missed a host of chances but Taggart’s perseverance alone gets him in our Team of the Week. Only a tight offside call denied him another goal, while his finish for Roar’s equaliser shows his predatory instincts in front of goal.
Andy Keogh (Perth Glory)
Caused the Wanderers defence all sorts of problems with his movement in behind and strong hold-up play. Scored Glory’s goal in the 1-1 draw and was unlucky not to have another in another typically strong display from the Irish workhorse.
COACH OF THE ROUND
Mark Rudan (Wellington Phoenix)
What a start to his Hyundai A-League coaching career for 'Rudes'. Masterminded a great performance from the Phoenix to came away with a 2-1 win over the Jets at Westpac Stadium. There looks to be a far greater resolve to Wellington's play already under Rudan.