Socceroos in Hyundai A-League: Risdon tallies hat-trick of assists as Duke extends scoring streak
Western United FC's rapid return to form in the Hyundai A-League gathered pace when they put five goals past Adelaide United on Saturday afternoon, and Socceroos full-back Josh Risdon was at the heart of all the action.
The 27-year-old notched three assists as he ran riot down the right flank for his side; his hat-trick of assists was just one less than the Hyundai A-League record of four in a single match, notched by Melbourne Victory's Fred against Adelaide United in the 2007 Hyundai A-League Grand Final.
Risdon assisted the first goal of the game, sliding to connect with a cross which found Besart Berisha running in on goal.
He went on to tee up Max Burgess for his first goal and United's third, then capped off his supreme performance by providing Berisha his second goal as the Green and Black pushed the margin out to 5-1.
Speaking to FOX Sports after his side jumped the Reds into the top six, Risdon said the great performance came down to structural solidity and quality up front.
“Structurally we were very good,” Risdon said.
“We worked very hard and won the ball and with the quality up top that we have with Dia [Diamanti] and Bes [Berisha] we know if we can find them we can create the chances.
“And today we finished them off, which has probably let us down over a couple of games this season, but today was a great performance.”
Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers opened Round 22 with an entertaining game on Friday night which the Roar ultimately won, but not before Wanderers captain Mitch Duke left his mark in a fifth consecutive game.
Duke's second half strike - a clinical solo effort - was his sixth goal in five games; his individual form has coincided with the Red and Black's resurgence under caretaker boss Jean-Paul de Marigny who was unbeaten in four before losing 3-1 to Roar.
Duke's performance was typically tireless and gritty as he tried to lead his side to yet another positive result after almost single-handedly winning the Sydney Derby for his side the weekend before.
Meanwhile, Sydney FC's Rhyan Grant and Andrew Redmayne secured an impressive 4-1 win over Melbourne Victory in a feisty Big Blue on Saturday night.
The difference between the two sides was stark on the scoreboard, but the Sky Blues had to work hard for the advantage after falling behind after five minutes.
After drawing level Sydney pushed hard to take the lead and Grant almost made that happen, putting the ball on a platter for Milos Ninkovic with a perfect cross which the Serbian headed directly into Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas from close range.
But Grant eventually left his mark on the contest. Just two minutes after Anthony Caceres put the Sky Blues ahead, Grant played a decisive pass to Adam Le Fondre who dinked the ball over Thomas and into the net to make it 3-1, a lead Sydney never looked like giving back to the hosts from that moment onwards.
In the final game of Round 22, Jamie Maclaren lead the line for Melbourne City as they recorded a 3-2 win on the road against Perth Glory in one of the games of the season.
City blitzed Perth in the first half, scoring three goals between the 24th and 34th minute of the contest. The hosts fought back in the second half pegging two goals back in the process but Maclaren and City held on to claim sole ownership of second place on the Hyundai A-League table.