The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week comprised of the best performing players that took part in Round 2 of the A-League Men season.
Matchday two of the A-League done and dusted. In Round 2, 16 goals were scored across six games with some very entertaining performances involving mainly the Melbourne teams.
Here’s The Inner Sanctum’s best XI from the second match week.
Goalkeeper and defenders
GK: Mark Birighitti (Central Coast Mariners)
Despite the fact that ‘Birraz’ was on the losing side at the end of the game against Wellington, he did have an outstanding game. He made a total of five saves, including a very impressive one to deny Ben Waine from the spot.
RB: Joshua Risdon (Western United)
It was a real Man of the Match performance from Risdon against Perth Glory. The Socceroos defender was at his best on Friday night and the stats confirm it. According to FotMob, the 29-year-old created the most chances (three), had the most tackles (three), and won the most duels (10) in the game.
CB: Nuno Reis (Melbourne City)
Maybe not the best out-and-out defender in the league, but Nuno Reis’ passing has become a real weapon for City. He was once again on top of things, completing 32 passes, winning all of his five duels, and making six clearances. He also provided the assist for Nabbout’s wondergoal in the second half.
CB: Brandon Hamill (Melbourne Victory)
This wasn’t the hardest game for Hamill, but that takes nothing away from his performance. Dominant at the back and even scoring by forcing an own goal at the other end, it was an impressive showing from the 29-year-old.
LB: James McGarry (Wellington Phoenix)
McGarry was absolutely outstanding in the Nix’s return to Wollongong. He provided a spark, bombing down the left-hand side and combined very well with Reno Piscopo and Clayton Lewis. He showed that he can be a real weapon for Ufuk Talay’s side going forward.
CM: Stefan Mauk (Adelaide United)
Matching up on the likes of Aiden O’Neill and Conor Metcalfe isn’t easy, but Mauk showed that he’s perfectly capable of doing that on his day. He worked hard and capped off a real captain’s performance with a goal from close range.
CM: Jake Brimmer (Melbourne Victory)
The Liverpool youth product didn’t score or assist in any of Victory’s goals against Brisbane, but was still one instrumental to their success. He took the game by the scruff of the neck and was absolutely everywhere, constantly making it hard for Brisbane to create from midfield.
AM: Marco Rojas (Melbourne Victory)
Marco Rojas is back! Rojas made life hard for the Roar defenders and picked up two assists. He absolutely ran the show alongside Brimmer.
RW: Ben Halloran (Adelaide United)
Second game and second appearance for Halloran in The Inner Sanctum TOTW. The former Gold Coast winger was arguably United’s best player on the pitch and caused all sorts of problems for Scott Jamieson. At the end of the night, he capped everything off with a phenomenal goal to seal the draw.
ST: Jaushua Sotirio (Wellington Phoenix)
Ufuk Talay confirmed after the game that Sotirio starting instead of Waine was a tactical decision, and what a decision it turned out to be. The pacy forward had an outstanding game, creating a lot of problems for the Mariners, ran the channels, got in behind, and scored a great goal.
LW: Andrew Nabbout (Melbourne City)
Arguably the Player of the Week. Nabbout was a real force to be reckoned with when City visited Coopers Stadium on Saturday night. He assisted the opener with a good low cross and scored the second one himself with a brilliant out-of-the-foot curler.
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