Western United has earned its first win of the 2021/22 Isuzu UTE A-League Men season, with a solitary Dylan Wenzel-Halls strike giving the Green and Black a 1-0 win over Perth Glory.
After using the same starting XI in both the FFA Cup Play Off and A-League Men Round 1, John Aloisi made his first change as Western United boss.
Aleksandar Prijovic made his first start for the Green and Black, coming in at centre forward to replace Wenzel-Halls. Neil Kilkenny and Josh Risdon were named in the starting XI – both former Perth Glory players.
Both sides traded half chances in the opening exchanges, with Alessandro Diamanti firing the first shot of the game early doors.
The United skipper went close again in the 20th minute, nearly scoring in spectacular fashion as he pulled the trigger from the halfway line. Brad Jones reacted to push the ball over the crossbar to deny the Italian a wonderful opener.
Bruno Fornaroli spurned the best chance of the game for Perth just before half-time, dragging a left-footed shot just wide of the right post after he was played in behind.
United dominated most of the possession throughout the half but neither side managed to consistently find meaningful avenues towards goal.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley came on at half-time to make his competitive Western United debut, replacing Tomoki Imai at the heart of the defence.
Wenzel-Halls brought an injection of pace up front off the bench and he very nearly had the hosts in front with 15 minutes to play. After latching into a brilliant Josh Risdon pass, the No.9’s effort was well saved by Jones in the Perth goal.
The former Brisbane Roar man went close again minutes later and it was third time lucky as he struck the net in the 78th minute.
After a mazy run down the left, Connor Pain put the ball across the goal line, striking the post before Wenzel-Halls pounced to smash the ball in from point blank range.
It was just reward for Wenzel-Halls who was electric off the bench, scoring his first goal for the Club and United’s first goal of the new season.