For fans of the Hyundai A-League’s newest team, Western United, this was a night that will live forever.
Western completed a sensational comeback to beat 3-2 Melbourne Victory on Saturday night and dealt their new Victorian rivals a first-ever blow in the process.
Mark Rudan’s side trailed Victory after just six minutes at Marvel Stadium but scored three unanswered goals to stun the four-time Champions of Australia.
It was the first time in their proud history that Victory had lost a Hyundai A-League game having held a 2-0 advantage.
To make the achievement even more spectacular, the new kids on the block had been hammered 6-0 by Marco Kurz’s men in a September friendly.
As 317-game veteran Andrew Durante remarked post-match, it could be a seminal evening for the team from Melbourne’s western suburbs.
“To come back is magic,” he told FOX Sports. “It’s what the club’s about. We’re fighters, we’re underdogs and we took it to them.”
Western were staring what so easily could’ve been the club’s first ever Hyundai A-League hammering when Ola Toivonen and Kristijan Dobras gave Victory a two-goal buffer with barely seven minutes played.
However, the fighting mentality which Durante praised and boss Rudan had lauded consistently throughout the club’s inaugural pre-season was evident from that point on.
Alessandro Diamanti lashed the green and black back into the contest and the visitors equalised before 30 minutes when James Donachie turned into his own net with Besart Berisha waiting to pounce.
“That first 45 minutes will take some beating from any sport, anywhere this weekend,” said FOX Sports commentator Mark Bosnich.
“When you’re forming a football club there are certain moments that are integral.
“After just their fourth game, this is one of them for Western United. It’s an unbelievable victory for them.”
Berisha’s return to Victory – where he won two Championships, a Premiership and an FFA Cup – dominated the headlines during the build up to Saturday night’s blockbuster.
The striker admitted it had been an emotional week, one in which his teammates had joked that he was either going to be the best player on the park, the worst player or get sent off, as Durante revealed post-match.
His prevailing emotion at the full-time whistle was one of relief.
“I’m very happy that this finished, that’s for sure. It was a really emotional game.
“The team showed today great mentality to come back. That’s something really special.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Western United’s next home game is Saturday, November 9 against Western Sydney Wanderers at GMHBA Stadium, Geelong. Kick-off is 7.30 PM
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