The best moments from the 2018/19 A-League season

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With another A-League season done and dusted, The Football Sack looks back at some of the best moments from the 2018/19 season.

Perth 4-3 Wanderers, R13

When the Western Sydney Wanderers travelled to the West for their round 13 clash against the Perth Glory, not many gave them a hope of winning the match. However, with 13 minutes left to play, Abraham Majok finished off a well-worked move to give the Wanderers a 3-1 lead over Perth.

Just two minutes later, Ivan Franjic got the Glory back to within a goal. Three minutes later Franjic was involved again, teeing up Andy Keogh who equalised. Four minutes later in the 86th minute, Juande scored a penalty to seal the 4-3 win for the Glory.

The comeback from Tony Popovic’s men was not a rare occurrence. In fact, Perth scored the most goals (16) in the league between the 77th minute and full time come the seasons end.

Ben Kennedy double save vs Jets, R22

After some very disappointing performances in the rounds building up to the round 22 clash, Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Ben Kennedy rebounded from relentless criticism from fans in tremendous fashion against his former club.

It was Alen Stajcic’s first game in charge of the Yellow and Navy, and they lead 3-0 in the 67th minute. However, goals in the 74th and 81st minutes made for a nervy finish for both sides.

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The Mariners sat deeper and deeper as the game went on, until the 94th minute where the Jets were awarded a controversial penalty. O’Donovan took the penalty, but it was saved by Kennedy, only to rebound straight to Daniel Georgievski who put the ball in the back of the net. But wait! VAR intervened and said Georgievski encroached the penalty area, and that the penalty should be re-taken.

In the 99th minute, O’Donovan stepped up again. Again, O’Donovan went the right way, but again, Kennedy saved it. Funnily enough, again, the rebound went to Georgievski, but he couldn’t get the contact on it that he wanted, and the Mariners walked away from the F3 Derby with a 3-2 win, with Ben Kennedy the hero.

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The re-birth of old talents

This season has seen veterans of the league go to the next level under new management. And they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

Roy Krishna

Growing up on a Fijian island full of Rugby players, Krishna chased his dream of being a professional footballer by moving to New Zealand, where he was eventually picked up by the Wellington Phoenix. His quality was obvious early on, but after a turbulent season in 2017/18, Roy Krishna set the league alight this season, winning the golden boot with 19 goals, and capping off a brilliant season by winning the Johnny Warren Medal.

David Williams

Krishna’s teammate had one of his best seasons to date. The former North Queensland Fury and Melbourne Heart striker looked like a new man under Mark Rudan this season, making electric runs down that right wing and combining with Krishna on many occasions. The 31-year-old had his best scoring season to date, netting 11 goals.

Neil Kilkenny

After a falling out with former Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce, 33-year-old Neil Kilkenny had his best season in the A-League. The veteran midfielder bossed that area of the field all season under Tony Popovic and can consider himself unlucky not to earn himself some individual awards for his tremendous season. If he wasn’t playing alongside Diego Castro and Chris Ikonomidis, he might have earned more recognition.

Perth v Adelaide semi-final shootout

With a 2-0 lead with less than ten minutes to go, Perth were probably pretty confident about their chances of progressing straight into the grand final. Adelaide had other ideas. Pegging the score back to 2-1 with nine minutes to go, Ryan Kitto scored the equaliser for Adelaide with just seven seconds left to play.

With both sides scoring a goal in extra time, it was down to a penalty shootout to decide who would take their place in the grand final.

Adelaide held a 3-1 lead in the shootout, but couldn’t make the most of it, going into sudden death at 4-4. Step up Paul Izzo and Liam Reddy. Both goalkeepers were immense, as the next five penalties were saved by the keepers.

Eventually, Joel Chianese put the final nail into the bottom left corner of the Adelaide coffin, seeing the Glory through to a home grand final.

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Adelaide 4–3 Brisbane,  R17

For me, this was the game of the year. A blown 3-0 lead and three red cards. This game was chaotic, but it was beautiful.

The chaos began just nine minutes in when Ken Ilso fouled Matt McKay and saw a straight red card.

In the 19th minute, Henrique touched the ball around Adelaide goalkeeper Paul Izzo and finished it into an open net, only to be ruled offside. Following a VAR review, the decision was overturned, and the goal was awarded.

38 minutes into the match Dylan Wenzel-Halls capitalised on a defensive error and netted his first A-League goal. Five minutes later, Adam Taggart scored from distance to give the Roar a 3-0 lead just before half time.

Just four minutes later, Isaias curled a free kick into the top left corner to give a ten-man Adelaide team some hope.

The chaotic nature of this game continued in the 59th minute, when Dane Ingham received his second yellow card for kicking the ball away. However, things went from bad to worse for Brisbane, as goalkeeper Jamie Young was shown a straight red card five minutes later for colliding with Goodwin outside the box.

From the subsequent free kick, Goodwin scored to bring it to 3-2 with 25 minutes still to play. Eight minutes later, Goodwin was involved again, crossing the ball to George Blackwood who headed to ball home to equalise for the Reds.

The drama wasn’t over there, though, as this game offered up one last twist. In the 97th minute, Carlo Armiento delivered a delicious cross towards an approaching Nikola Mileusnic. He headed the ball home, sealing a 4-3 victory for Adelaide United.

Feature Image Credit: Jaime Castaneda

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Cameron Smith
Football writer and radio presenter. Loves everything football (well, except Italian's diving since '06).