Why Western United Can Win A-League Men’s Grand Final And Why They Can’t



Last Saturday night when Western United thrashed Victory to reach the A-League Men’s Grand Final, it is incredibly difficult to please you if you are not satisfied with the passion, skill and competition.

Rather brilliantly, Melbourne City played thrillingly in their placement on Sunday, now coming from behind against the heart-broken Reds, who looked as stunning as the Champs for a minute.

These results create a perfect David and Goliath situation where City, with all their talents, class and support, goes against a possible myth. A physically injured, often criticized and homeless club dare to deny adversity and claim the biggest prize in the Australian game.

There is really something magical about the current run of Coach John Aloisy’s Western United squad that is enjoying, full of passion, passion and steel which has proved too much for the Melbourne victory to handle on two legs.

John Aloisy

(Photo by Chris Hyde / Getty Images)

Aloisy has dispelled any long-standing doubts about his coaching ability and the injuries to key players. The charge of the final match of the season has created a real feeling of an underdog overcoming considerable adversity.

Momentum is snowballing and the more calm and steady opponent is undoubtedly afraid of being able to carry the wave of emotion in its path.

Why would Western United get the job done on Saturday and claim a championship that some pundits may have been possible but the current wave is strong enough.

Jamie Young continues to efficiently block, parry and tip the goal, the balance that Connor Payne, Dylan Wengel-Halls, Lachi Wells, Jerry Scodatis and Neil Kilkenny provide in midfield is impressive and true in the form of Alexander Prizovic. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that rising to the top and scoring freely can hurt United City and often hurt them.

On Saturday night Leo Lacroix and Josh Risdon regained their composure with a great 4-1 second leg win, and the case just got stronger.

Simply put, the West have the weapons to score goals and the defensive discipline to challenge the opponent, which is a free-scoring and offensive-minded victory from the spade across the two legs of the semi-final.

Leo Lacroix

(Photo by Graham Denhom / Getty Images)

After what we’ve done so far in the knock-out stages of the season, some will be shocked if the Aloysi men once again mount the surfboard and run the momentum all the way to the victory presentation.

Yet things can play out in a much more predictable and realistic way, with the best team in Australia over the last two seasons being able to close out United and add another silverware using 90 minutes on offer. A growing trophy cabinet.

For the long haul, Adelaide United have seen City measure up throughout their two semi-final matches and it looks like they have just 20 minutes left. Big blue names were urgently needed to change the pace of competition.

Of course, they have managed it with the skill and resilience that has become part of their DNA in recent years. Marco Tilio and Jamie McLaren scored in the second half and extra time to extinguish the flames of hope that the Reds still held, with patience, pressure and perseverance eventually being forced to open the dam wall.

Matthew Leakey was third in the front line everywhere, McLaren was a constant threat and Andrew Nabout was at his best, delivering brilliantly from a wide area on multiple occasions.

Melbourne City's Jamie McLaren celebrates with a goal

(Photo by Brendon Thorne / Getty Images)

There was a bit of panic from the City behind, Tillo and Rustin Griffiths added inspiration from the bench and Adelaide’s emotional run was won in the usual way the champion teams work: calm, steady and nothing but faith. Things will eventually turn their way.

A lot of money will be invested in the possibility of City creating something similar this weekend against Western United.

With the absence of Alessandro Diamanti and Nikolai Topor-Stanley, as well as chronic injury concerns for Steven Lustica, many have confirmed that the expanded United squad and City bench depth will translate into another championship for Patrick Kisnerborough squad.

That argument will be made against the passion of green and black runs. This is a race that most A-League male fans are hoping will continue.

Yet city fans will be desperate to calm the mood during the week so they can efficiently get into the business of claiming the title they think they deserve.

We can see that both teams can win which makes it a fitting grand final.

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