The A-League is showing a newfound competitive spirit this season, with the quality difference between the teams minimal, as seen by multiple results over the weekend.
Last season’s Premiers Perth Glory are at the foot of the table after another poor result, losing 1-0 to Melbourne Victory, who themselves are not positioned where they want to be. Another team in trouble are Western Sydney Wanderers, who fell to Newcastle Jets, with the pressure now mounting on Markus Babbel to turn things around.
Brisbane Roar recorded another consecutive victory against Central Coast Mariners as did Wellington Phoenix by upsetting Adelaide United. Sydney FC end the weekend in pole position after convincingly beating Western United through an Adam Le Fondre brace.
The competitiveness of the league is certainly something to celebrate, but so are the players! Here are the five standout performances from round eight of the A-League.
Confined to the bench by new coach Robbie Fowler, Wenzel-Halls has been forced to a bit part role so far in the season behind Roy O’Donovan and Jordan Amadi-Holloway.
Finally given his first start, the Australian showed exactly why Fowler should put more trust in his local forward than his British pair, as he dominated the show from start to finish to give Roar a much-needed victory.
The 21 year old took seven shots throughout the match clearly eager to get his name on the scoresheet to cap of his excellent performance, but it didn’t come through on the day. Still, his movement caused plenty of problems for the Mariners defence who had no idea how to contain Wenzel-Halls.
Hopefully, this is the belated beginning of a prosperous season for the Brisbane striker after showing his promise last year. Fowler has no argument not to start Wenzel-Halls now.
Kamsoba has had a difficult time since being embedded into the Victory squad last season by Kevin Muscat, and those struggles have continued onto this season. There are flashes of his clear quality which remind us that he fits in, but they are few and far between.
Against Perth Glory though, Kamsoba was able to consistently create chances for his time throughout the game, darting in behind the defence to trouble last season’s Premiership winners.
It seems like the return of Socceroos teammates Robbie Kruse and Andrew Nabbout helped lift his own game, and playing in behind the striker rather than the wings gave him the freedom to roam into the channels to really utilise his pace.
Although he didn’t score tonight, he was repeatedly receiving the ball in the box, and it might not be too much longer until we can finally see the Burundi international score a (legitimate) goal.