The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week comprised of the best performing players that took part in Round 23 of the A-League Men season.
Both Melbourne City and Sydney FC travelling to Asia to play in the Champions League meant that Round 23 of the A-League Men’s competition had just four games. Despite that, Gameweek 23 didn’t disappoint, providing some very tight games and fantastic individual performances.
Following the latest set of fixtures, we’ve compiled the best XI from the stand-out performers, in The Inner Sanctum’s Team of the Week.
Goalkeeper and defenders
GK: Mark Birighitti (Central Coast Mariners)
His crucial save in the 24th minute led to the counter for Central Coast, which allowed them to break the deadlock and take control of the game.
RB: Storm Roux (Central Coast Mariners)
Coming into the side to replace the suspended Miller, Roux played almost perfectly throughout the 90 minutes. He picked up an assist for Moresche’s goal and helped the Mariners keep their sixth clean sheet of the season.
CB: Tomislav Uskok (Macarthur FC)
Uskok was one of Macarthur’s best performers against Brisbane and its main ball carrier, starting on the right of the back-three. The ex-Mariners defender also made two blocks, three clearances, and five ball-recoveries, earning a place in our TOTW for Round 23.
CB: Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Western United)
What a signing Topor-Stanley has been for Western United. The veteran was dominant against Perth, excelling both in the air and on the ground, and chipping in with some outstanding passes.
LB: Ben Garuccio (Western United)
Garuccio had a lot of joy down the left-hand side against a very young Perth line-up. The former City full-back provided his sixth assist of the season with an excellent low cross and was constantly tormenting the Glory defenders with his overlapping runs.
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CM: Daniel Penha (Newcastle Jets)
Elite creator, these are the words that describe Penha best. Picked up his 11th assist for the campaign (ranked first in assists) with a wonderful through-ball and was once again the best player on the pitch for the Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium.
CM: James O’Shea (Brisbane Roar)
O’Shea did end up on the losing side, but his performance against Macarthur was very good. According to FotMob, he ended the match with the most dribbles completed (four), most duels won (nine), and most accurate passes (88), while also creating three goalscoring chances.
AM: Lachlan Wales (Western United)
When it rains it pours for Lachlan Wales, who scored his first three goals of the season in a matter of 20 minutes. A brilliant display and an even better hat-trick from the Olyroo.
RW: Beni N’Kololo (Central Coast Mariners)
Enjoyed himself at Sky Stadium, popping up in different areas of the pitch and dictating the game. It took the Frenchman about 25 minutes to get on the scoresheet against the Nix with a well-taken goal, and he continued to expose the hosts’ defence throughout the contest.
ST: Nicholas D’Agostino (Melbourne Victory)
Daggers opened the scoring for Victory early in the first half, after a lung-busting run. He could have had a hat-trick to his name if it wasn’t for the crossbar.
LW: Connor Pain (Western United)
Pain worked really hard and combined superbly with Wales and Garuccio as Western United looked to exploit Perth’s right side. The 28-year-old provided two assists and could’ve had a few more on another day.
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