Western United will face its biggest test through the opening three rounds of the 2022 NPL 3 season as Melbourne City arrives at City Vista Recreation Reserve on Sunday.
Western United vs Melbourne City
Sunday, 3 April
Kick-off: 3:00pm AEST (Seniors), 5:15pm AEST (Under 21’s)
City Vista Recreation Reserve, Caroline Springs
Last time out
Western United’s Academy sides continued the Club’s perfect start to the 2022 with two wins of identical score lines in Round 2.
United travelled to face Whittlesea Ranges on Saturday March 26, with the Under 21’s setting the tone for a successful afternoon.
Two goals in a three-minute spell from Thomas Alisandratos secured a 2-0 victory for Vaughan Coveny’s Under 21’s before the Senior side followed suit.
Whittlesea were proving a tough test for Anthony Frost’s men and it took until the second half for United to break the deadlock through Round 1 star Jake Najdovski. Sabit Ngor added a second goal late-on to wrap up the win over Ranges, who had been reduced to 10 men earlier in the second period.
Last season’s meetings
Western United only got to meet Melbourne City once in the 2021 NPL 3 season before the campaign was suspended, which was a great shame given the quality of the matches in both the Under 21’s and the Senior’s.
United fell 3-1 in the Under 21’s in an entertaining game. Abel Walatee scored just past the hour mark to make it 1-1 but two late goals earned Melbourne City a 3-1 victory, one of which came from current United player Sebastian Lo Monaco.
In the Senior’s, the lead changed hands on three different occasions as Nicolas Milanovic netted twice either side of a Rhys Bozinovski strike to have the Green and Black leading 3-2 in the final minutes.
But Jordan Bos netted a stoppage time equaliser for Melbourne City as the game ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw, and it could only be hoped there is similar excitement this weekend.
Melbourne City have started the season in typically strong fashion in both the Under 21’s and Senior’s competitions.
The Under 21’s came bursting out of the blocks with a 4-1 win over Doveton in Round 1 but went down 3-2 in a chaotic Round 2 clash with Melbourne Victory. City had come from 2-0 down to draw level before ultimately losing, while Victory had two players sent off in the final 15 minutes.
Giorgio Serdenes has struck three goals in the first two games and will be one for United’s defence to keep an eye on.
City’s senior side are unbeaten through their opening two matches, with a 1-1 draw against Doveton coming before a similarly thrilling match against Victory, which they eventually won 4-2.