A solid defensive effort was the most pleasing aspect of Western United’s elimination final win over Brisbane Roar, according to United Head Coach Mark Rudan.
United defeated the Roar 1-0 in their A-League finals debut and will now face Melbourne City on Wednesday night for a spot in the 2020 A-League Grand Final.
“Finals football is about minimising mistakes, being defensively solid, taking your opportunities and creating the moments,” Rudan told reporters during the post-game press conference.
“The thing that most pleased me was how we defended so stoutly.
“So disciplined in our structure – we know we can do that when we have to.”
A stunning Alessandro Diamanti free kick was enough to send United through to the semi-finals in their inaugural season – a feat achieved just once before by an expansion side, when Western Sydney Wanderers reached the Grand Final in 2013.
It was the first free kick the United captain has scored this season, something that was predicted by Rudan before the game.
“I said to him [Diamanti] before the game that I had a feeling we were going to get a free kick and he was going to score.
“That’s partly why he ran up to us and we had a bit of a laugh about it.
“We know we have match winners and it was Diamanti tonight who created the moment and provided the match-winning moment.”
Western United will face Melbourne City on Wednesday, 26 August at Bankwest Stadium for a spot in the 2020 Hyundai A-League Grand Final. Kick-off is 5:00pm.