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Hamill hails “freak” Diamanti after gutsy draw in western Sydney

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Western United central defender Brendan Hamill says club skipper Alessandro Diamanti “is a freak” after another typically influential display by the Italian in Friday night’s 1-1 draw at Bankwest Stadium in western Sydney.

The Green and Black conceded a 79th-minute goal to Patrick Ziegler as the Wanderers sensed a five-game losing streak was about to end.

But a superb cross from Connor Pain was headed home by Aaron Calver to level the clash with three minutes left of regulation time.

Diamanti pushed his United side forward continuously throughout a tough encounter and they got their rewards to go three games unbeaten (17 points after 11 rounds).

Hamill paid tribute to Diamanti, who he played against in the Asian Champions League on the same ground five years ago (before it was rebuilt this year and re-named).

The Italian maestro was with Guangzhou Evergande and Hamill with Wanderers and they faced each other in an ACL quarter-final at the old Parramatta Stadium.

“He’s a freak,” Hamill told Fox Sports after Friday night’s draw.

“I’ve played against him in the Asian Champions League and he opened my eyes to how good he was.

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“To have that outlet and his [Diamanti’s] ability on the ball, and to have ‘Bes’ [Berisha] and Pana [Kone] … we’ve got such depth in this squad.”

And the powerful central defender said he was in no doubt about this side’s ability to get back into the contest against Wanderers.

United looked to be heading for a loss at Bankwest Stadium after a headed goal 11 minutes from time from the hosts had the home fans in delirium.

But as they have done so often this season, the Green and Black showed guts to level proceedings eight minutes later thanks to Calver.

“We’ve copped early goals and always come back this season. And with this group, there’s such togetherness and we never say die and don’t give up and it showed again tonight.”

Hamill is relishing his time in the starting XI, adding it was all about staying disciplined within the structure of the side.

“And I’m enjoying playing my football here,” he added.

United is now unbeaten in three after two wins and a draw.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Western United’s next home game is against Wellington Phoenix in Ballarat on December 28 at Mars Stadium. Kick-off is 5:00 pm.

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