Report: Western United jump into top six with win over Newcastle Jets


Western United jumped into the top six for the first time since Matchweek One with a 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park.

The line-up

Besart Berisha returned to the line-up after coming off the bench last time out against Wellington.

Luke Duzel was chosen to replace the suspended Tomi Uskok in midfield, however picked up an injury in the warm-up. Steven Lustica made the starting eleven instead.

The match

Alessandro Diamanti went close to opening his account for the season, hitting a sweetly timed volley that went just over the bar.

United then took a fortuitous early lead at AAMI Park via an own goal.

Lachie Wales tried to pick out Besart Berisha in the box before Jets defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley reached out and put it into his own net.

The Jets almost found an equaliser through former United player Apostolos Stamatelopoulos who headed his chance wide.

United was dealt an injury blow shortly after when Josh Risdon went down and was forced to make way for Aaron Calver.

Mark Rudan’s side thought they doubled their lead when Besart Berisha’s header found the back of a net from a Diamanti set piece. Berisha was deemed offside, however.

It was the home side creating most of the chances in the second half, and they finally found a second goal in the 69th minute.

Berisha, Vïctor Sánchez and Calver were all involved in a delightful team move before Dylan Pierias tapped home his sixth goal of the season.

United went close to adding a third when Alessandro Diamanti’s free-kick was headed for the bottom corner, only to be well saved by Jets keeper Lewis Italiano.

It finished 2-0, ensuring United jump into the top six for the first time since Matchweek One.

What Mark Rudan said

On the performance

“Very disciplined and professional performance tonight which pleased me.

“I thought we dominated the game from start to finish.

On the back four

“The back four worked well, we’ve spoken about it and worked on it at times during the season. We did a lot of work on it yesterday and it’s about giving clear, simple instructions with and without the ball and I think it worked really well.

“Newcastle is a team historically against us who break our lines in two passes and put us under pressure.

“So I thought I’d switch that around and put more pressure on the ball and have an extra player higher up the park.

“It’s a credit to the players for taking the information on board and then executing it.”

On Josh Risdon’s injury

“We’ll get him scanned tomorrow morning but that word is is that it’s not as bad as last year which is positive.

“Josh worked extremely hard to get himself back playing, and he’s so important to us.

Next match

Western United travel to South Australia to take on Adelaide United on Friday, 30 April. Kick-off is 7:35pm