After Tim Cahill’s moment of Melbourne Derby magic, we debated the best howitzers and long-range screamers and came up with this top 10. Did we get it right?
10: Carlos Hernandez – Gold Coast United v Melbourne Victory
The Costa Rican built up a catalogue of sensational strikes during his time in the Hyundai A-League but none better than his effort in the 2009/10 season. A quick free-kick saw Carlito with space in front of him and he decided to let fly 35 yards from goal. His wicked effort whizzed through the air and then dipped viciously to nestle perfectly into the top corner of the net. Pure genius from King Carlos!
9: Danny Tiatto –Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar
At Etihad in the 2009/10 season, Matt McKay played an inviting pass into the path of his teammateTiatto, the ball rolled perfectly across his body onto his left foot. With perfect precision, he drilled a 30-yard swinging rocket into the far corner of the net, giving the keeper absolutely no chance. The ball’s swerve was amazing.
8: Marc Janko – Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
The giant Austrian took out the golden boot in Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Season which included one of the goals of the season at Suncorp Stadium. Roar keeper Jamie Young’s mis-hit clearance went straight to Janko about 35 metres out. He controlled the ball on his chest before crunching a first-time left-footed volley into the empty net. Boom!
7: Roly Bonevacia – Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United
There’s plenty of power of the Dutchman’s right boot, which Reds keeper John Hall found out in season 2015/16. Bonevacia was given too much space about 30 yards from goal and hit a scorching drive which arrowed into the top corner of the net. Unstoppable.
OK, it was in the FFA Cup so this is a bit of an intruder in this A-League list, but it did feature Central Coast Mariners. In a massive upset in this year’s Cup, Green Gully’s Liam Boland became a household name after hitting a bomb from 40-metres out as the Victorian PS4 NPL club upstaged the Mariners. With extra-time looming, Boland pounced on a mis-placed pass and hit a wonder-striker over the stunned keeper to spark wild celebrations for the part-timers from Melbourne.
6: Alessandro Del Piero – Perth Glory v Sydney FC
OK, back to the A-League and it appeared little danger when the Italian great picked up possession in the middle of the park about 35 yards from goal. Glory made the mistake of not closing down Del Piero and he jogged forward a few steps and – with his weaker left-foot – sent the ball humming past Danny Vukovic into the net.
5: Tim Brown – Wellington Phoenix v Sydney FC
The Kiwi international wasn’t known for his goal-scoring exploits but produced a cracker to sink the Sky Blues. Pouncing on Liam Reddy’s scuffed clearance just inside Sydney’s half, Brown controlled the ball forward on his thigh then looped a perfectly-executed lob over the keeper’s head from 45 yards out. A howitzer!
4: John Aloisi – Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
In a final round showdown for the Premiers Plate in 2010, Aloisi produced a moment of magic to ensure the Sky Blues would secure the silverware. Swooping on a loose ball inside his own half, he turned Leigh Broxham and ran directly towards goal, getting to just in front of the box before crunching a shot which snuck just inside the post. A strike worthy of winning any match, beating Mitch Langerak.
3: Noel Spencer – Perth Glory v Central Coast Mariners
Spencer chose the opening night of the Hyundai A-League back in 2005 to produce a right-foot piledriver that was named goal of the season. He took one touch to control the ball before hitting a swerving shot which deceived keeper Jason Petkovic and flew into the top corner.
2: Tim Cahill – Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City
Enjoy one more time.
1: Orlando Engelaar – Melbourne Heart v Central Coast Mariners
Back in 2014 at AAMI Park and spotting keeper Liam Reddy off his line, the gangly midfielder inside his half in the centre circle tried his luck with a piercing drive which went over the gloveman’s head and under the crossbar. It was a phenomenal strike and brought worldwide attention to the Hyundai A-League as the vision went viral.