The Heart forward stole the show with a brilliant solo goal, but he still isn't quite a world-beater yet. Meanwhile the league leaders are looking good for top spot
Fox Sports pundit 'Harps' invited ridicule on social media earlier this season, when, in commentary, he compared Williams to Juventus and Argentina dynamo Carlos Tevez, before backing Heart's Australian marquee player to push for a place in the Socceroos' World Cup squad. Well, the comparison remains an extraordinarily generous one, and Williams will have to be far more consistent to interest Ange Postecoglou when the time comes to name his Brazil 2014 squad. But on Friday night we saw what Williams is capable of when it all comes together, as he slalomed through the Sydney FC defence to score the winning goal at AAMI Park. That might be as good as it gets for Williams this season, but at least for now he can enjoy the accolades which come with netting a strike worthy of Harper's excitable billing.
2. Victory halt their horror run, Glory miss a chance (Michael Washbourne @ nib Stadium)
Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat insisted he was not after a response from his side following consecutive 5-0 losses, but rather a 90-minute performance. Muscat will be satisfied with aspects of his team's 1-1 draw with Perth Glory on Friday night, including the individual efforts from Tom Rogic and Adama Traore. Rogic made his first start for Victory since signing a loan deal from Celtic and was the standout player in the first half when the visitors were in control, while Traore was dominant throughout with his dashing runs from full back. Victory also created several chances to score, but unfortunately players such as young striker Andrew Nabbout were unable to convert.
Glory went into the match against a down-and-out Victory side with a chance to move as high as fourth if they won and interim coach Kenny Lowe was livid with his side's efforts in the first half. A better second half included a stunning goal on debut from Lithuanian international Darvydas Sernas, but that was somewhat spoiled by another calf injury to marquee defender William Gallas in the final minutes.
3. Wellington, Hernandez go from strength to strength (Michael Huguenin & Robert Somers)
The Phoenix passed the latest test in their mid-season revival by dispatching another resurgent side in the form of Adelaide United. Carlos Hernandez was heavily involved throughout for the New Zealand outfit, and has well and truly justified the club's decision to bring him back to the A-League. Kenny Cunningham, signed as a striker, has impressed with his versatility and work-rate in a role closer to that of a midfielder. And the people of Auckland demonstrated their appetite for the roundball game by turning up in big numbers at Eden Park. While a second Kiwi franchise is still a long way off, the Phoenix could do worse than increase their number of visits to city.
4. Spiranovic a Socceroos option in midfield and defence (Iain Strachan @ Hunter Stadium)
The early season clamour was for Spiranovic to be considered as a potential centre-back for the Socceroos in Brazil later this year, and the 25-year-old has certainly acquitted himself well at the back for the Wanderers so far in 2013-14. He has been afforded an opportunity to demonstrate his versatility in the last two weeks, playing as a holding midfielder in front of the back four and behind Aaron Mooy and Shinji Ono.
Tall and physically strong but also technically adept and mobile, 'Spira's' ability to sit and provide a shield who can also recycle possession offers a reassuring fallback if Mark Milligan, Mile Jedinak or James Holland go down with an injury in the lead-up to the World Cup.
5. Determined Roar looking good for top spot (Dan Colasimone @ Suncorp Stadium)
Brisbane Roar could all but seal the Premier's Plate next Friday against the Wanderers after going seven points clear at the top of the table with a last-gasp win over Central Coast. With a victory against second-placed Western Sydney next weekend, the Roar would open up a daunting 10-point gap at the top, and judging by the inconsistent form of the chasing pack, that should prove enough to secure a first place regular-season finish.
Brisbane did it the hard way again, however, going a goal down to the Mariners in the first half before launching an all-out offensive effort in the second term to snatch a 2-1 win.
Victory-bound Besart Berisha had a sloppy game by his usual standards, but was on hand to score the winner in the final minute of regular time to send the home crowd wild. The Mariners tried to close up shop in the second half but without the recently departed Daniel McBreen, they were unable to hold on to possession for any length of time and the pressure eventually took its toll.
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