A huge milestone was achieved in Round 23 of the A-League on Saturday, as Melbourne Victory’s Ola Toivonen struck the competition’s 5000th goal.

And what a goal it was – both in its execution and its significance.

The strike – a perfectly curled free-kick from the edge of Glory’s 18-yard box – gave Victory the lead over league leaders Perth, before Keisuke Honda’s penalty sealed the result for Victory.

Across the A-League, Carl Veart scored the competition’s first ever goal, Carlos Hernandez netted the 1000th, Josh Mitchell scored the 2000th, Terry Antonis the 3000th and Roy Krishna the 4000th.

The result shaved Glory’s lead at the A-League summit to six points, which favours second-placed Sydney FC and third-placed Victory; the latter being seven points adrift with four rounds to go.

Kosta Barbarouses meanwhile featured in his 200th A-League match in the encounter at HBF Park.

While Barbarouses tallied his milestone appearance at the Victory, he has played with three clubs in the A-League; in his country of his origin, New Zealand, with Wellington Phoenix on two separate occasions (2007-2010 and 2016-17) and also with the Brisbane Roar between 2010-11.

Having joined the 200 club, Barbarouses is now 29th on the A-League all-time appearances list, which is headed up by 300-gamer Andrew Durante (309 appearances).


Barbarouses’ teammate and goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas recorded his 50th A-League win in his 99th appearance on Saturday, becoming the 18th player to record 50 wins in less than 100 games and only the second goalkeeper – after Michael Theo (95 games) – to do so.

Milos Ninkovic (50 wins in 87 A-League games) holds the record for reaching 50 wins in the least games. Ninkovic also reached a century of appearances with Sydney FC in their win over Brisbane Roar on Friday night.

The Johnny Warren Medallist is rated as one of the best ever foreign players to have graced Australia’s domestic competition. In his first season with Sydney during the 2015/16 campaign, Ninkovic won 11 man of the match awards, earning him Fox Sports’ Alex Tobin Medal for the season’s best player.

In his second season, Ninkovic won the Johnny Warren Medal – becoming the first Sydney FC player to ever do so – and scored the winning penalty in the 2017 A-League Grand Final – earning him cult status in Australia.

With Sydney, Ninkovic has won the Premiers Plate twice (2016-17, 2017-2018) the A-League Championship (2017) and the FFA Cup (2017).

The Serbian’s teammate, Paulo Retre, made his 50th appearance in a Sydney FC jersey on Friday night. Having transferred from the club where he commenced his career – Melbourne City – at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season to the Harbour City, Retre has enjoyed regular appearances in a talented squad.

Retre now has 88 total appearances in the A-League, 12 shy of a century.


For Sydney FC’s cross-town rival, Western Sydney Wanderers, defender Brendan Hamill notched his 100th appearance in all competitions for the Red and Black against Melbourne City.

Having already played over 100 matches in the A-League across two clubs – Melbourne Heart and the Wanderers – Hamill has now played 100 matches in all competitions for his new club, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

In Wellington, David Williams’ hat-trick was memorable for more ways than one.

His opening goal – 30 seconds into the match against Newcastle – equalled the record for the fastest A-League goal this season. His treble was just his second A-League career hat-trick – with his first coming in February 2014 in his third season at Melbourne Heart – and at the same venue against Wellington. It was also the third hat-trick in the Phoenix’s history.

In the same match, Wellington celebrated Ben Waine’s debut, who came on as a late substitute for Williams. Waine, 17, has been with the Phoenix for the last two seasons, having featured in 33 matches with the youth team since 2017.

Thanks to our regular contributor and stats guru Andrew Howe, we have been provided some intriguing data to complement the 5000th A-League goal.

As it turns out, the goalkeeper who conceded the 5000th goal from Toivonen’s boot – Liam Reddy – had in fact been a central figure to previous milestone goals in the league.

Incredibly, Reddy was around to concede the first goal of the A-League, as previously mentioned scored by Carl Vaaert, conceded the 1000th goal, the 2001st goal, was at Central Coast Mariners and injured at the time when Matt Nash conceedeed the 3000th goal and also conceded the 4000th goal.

While it may viewed as a negative to have ownership of those statistics, it does in fact speak to Liam Reddy’s longevity in the competition.


While speaking of goalkeepers and longevity, Reddy and Melbourne City FC’s Eugene Galekovic are in the top five in terms of goalkeepers with most Australian national league appearances.

Reddy is third with 336 appearances, while Galekovic is now equal fifth with 332 appearances.