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A-League Winners and Losers: Goodwin shines as VAR fails

04:19 GMT+3 21/01/2019
A-League split
Another dramatic weekend of A-League action

Round 14 of the A-League delivered a brilliant individual display, an early contender for game of the season and a questionable performance from VAR.

Craig Goodwin almost single-handedly led Adelaide United to victory over Western Sydney Wanderers, while Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory clashed in an A-League epic.

VAR however struggled across the weekend as it failed to intervene a number of times having been too prominent at the start of the season. 

Read on for all our winners and losers from Round 14.

  • Craig Goodwin Adelaide United

    Winner: Craig Goodwin

    One goal. One assist. Seven chances created.

    Craig Goodwin well and truly ran riot on Friday night against an under-manned Wanderers.

    The Reds attacker was given far too much space at ANZ Stadium and made the most of it as he led Adelaide to a crucial three points.

    After firing earlier in the season, Goodwin stalled somewhat to miss out on Socceroos selection for the Asian Cup, but appears to be back to his best.

    As the Reds continue to search for a striker, their ability to still strike in the final third owes a lot to Goodwin, who you can't see sticking around in the A-League for much longer than this season.  

  • VAR Melbourne City v Adelaide United A-League 07042017

    Loser: VAR

    Though Goodwin deserved his goal against Western Sydney, it really shouldn't have been allowed to stand with replays showing an Adelaide player was clearly offside in build-up

    Why the VAR didn't spot it and intervene remains to be seen, but it started a trend of VAR failing to step in across Round 14.

    Jason Hoffman shouldn't have been sent off against Sydney FC, while the Mariners can count themselves unlucky they weren't awarded a penalty for a Brisbane Roar handball on Sunday.

    While the VAR was criticised earlier in the season for intervening on very marginal decisions, it now appears to be going too far the other way. 

    If a decision is wrong, this whole debate around whether it was a 'clear and obvious error' shouldn't be stopping the VAR from ensuring the right call is made.

    Otherwise - what's the point in having it? 

  • Jubilee Stadium

    Winner: Sydney FC and Jubilee

    The Sky Blues secured their fourth straight win at Jubilee Stadium on Saturday.

    While the victory wasn't without its controversy, Sydney FC have found a perfect home away from home this season. 

    With the Wanderers losing five straight games at their adopted ANZ, the Sky Blues are soaring at Jubilee.

    Not only are the team delivering there, but the crowds are coming in strong numbers.

    A solid 12,681 fans turned up on Saturday and unlike most other A-League games, people thought the number was actually larger. 

  • Warren Joyce Melbourne City

    Loser: Melbourne City

    Melbourne City failed to register a shot on target against Perth Glory on Saturday as the 6,055 fans that did show up at AAMI Park weren't given many reasons to return.

    While a side capable of creating chances, City simply lack someone capable of taking them right now and that makes for very frustrating viewing.

    Bruno Fornaroli is one man that could solve those frustrations but remains stuck in the stands - a situation that can't be allowed to continue one way or another for all involved.

    "It’s not good for Bruno sitting in the stands not playing and it’s not a good look for the club, with the marquee sitting in the stands," Brattan told SEN Breakfast. 

    "It’s been going on for a long time, we get asked a lot about it and if we want to win anything and be serious, then we need a striker."

    With City's active support folding late last year, the club really need to give their fans a reason to turn up and right now they're giving them more reasons to turn away.

  • Melbourne Victory

    Winner: Barbarouses the unlikely star in epic

    With Keisuke Honda and Ola Toivonen stealing the spotlight this season for Melbourne Victory, Kosta Barbarouses has well and truly gone under the radar.

    Helped by the commanding presence of Toivonen, the Kiwi attacker has become noticeably sharper in front of goal.

    After scoring a hat-trick against Roar on Tuesday, Barbarouses scored the equaliser in an enthralling 3-3 draw with Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.

    A more clinical finisher, he's also proving to be a more effective catalyst for Victory's attack as he teed up Toivonen for Victory's first before being involved in the build-up for Troisi's strike. 

    Barbarouses now has eight goals and three assists this season as he stars in his own right for Kevin Muscat's side. 

  • A-League yellow card

    Loser: Cellar-dweller discipline

    The early season fight for the wooden spoon turned out to be a solid contest between the Mariners and Roar, but ill-discipline from both sides really stood out.

    The two clubs have been shown an A-League high three red cards this season, while Brisbane's haul of 43 yellows is six more than any other side.

    On Sunday, nine yellow cards were handed out in what became quite a spiteful contest that could very easily have ended with one side reduced to 10 men.

    While it was good to see both teams fighting for the three points, they need to work out their discipline moving forward if they are any hope of sorting out their troubles.