Western United’s first ever match has seen them defeat feeder club Wellington Phoenix 1-0 in Wellington.
A Western United team-sheet sporting no less than 3 former Wellington players (Andrew Durante, Filip Kurto, Max Burgess), came out victorious after all time A-League top scorer, Besart Berisha, scored his 117th A-League goal, and Western United’s first ever.Embed from Getty Images
The Wellington crowd started the match with expected hostility towards their former players and former manager, with boos ringing out for former captain Durante, as United were content with holding possession in their defensive third.
What initially seemed to be an over hit cross from United’s Connor Pain, fortuitously found Josh Risdon running into the back post, where he was able to square the ball to Berisha in front of a near empty net, and slotted the club’s first ever goal mid way through the first half.
Wellington also had their chances in the first half, with Liberto Cacace’s long driven shot saved well by Kurto, whilst English Football League journeyman David Ball’s chip shot drifted wide of the post.Embed from Getty Images
The second half turned into a cagey affair, with both teams struggling for chances on goal. United were able to run out the match, even after the match time made it to triple digits, with multiple stoppages in injury time increasing the initial 7 minutes of added time.
Wellington didn’t provide much of a challenge to the newly created franchise, however United fans will definitely be happy with the partnership between marquee’s Panagiotis Kone and Alessandro Diamanti in the middle.Embed from Getty Images
United, although victorious, will need to keep their core players under cotton wool this year. Their starting line up had an average age of almost 32 years old, leaving very little room for injury to their aged squad.
Youngster Valentino Yuel will need to wait until Round 6 to make his debut, after undergoing surgery mid week after a training injury.Embed from Getty Images
Written by Lachie Spiteri (Vuck follower)