Melissa Taranto hailed Western United’s trademark team culture as the Green and Black came from a goal down to defeat Melbourne Victory 2-1 in the Liberty A-League Women on Sunday.
Taranto scored the equaliser in the 66th minute before Keiwa Hieda’s first professional goal proved to be the winner in the dying moments.
While highlighting the team’s ability to never give up in games, Taranto insisted that the football that the team played merited the win.
“At half-time it was a weird feeling, I said to Grace I don’t know how to feel because we’re losing but we’re playing well,” she said.
“We had the ball, we had possession, so we didn’t really need to change much. It was just making sure we set up at set pieces, and biting one back.
“We’re playing good football. It’s just our second game, and I thought the actual football we played was really good. As much as we needed the points, I more look at the football and how we played, so I hope we can take that into the next few weeks.”
In difficult conditions against a quality opponent – and crosstown rival, to boot – Taranto said she and the team understand the challenges that the game would bring.
Western United won three times from losing positions last season, all in consecutive games between December and January, and Taranto said the spirit and the home crowd at City Vista would prevail.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult game, but we were really happy to come back here, we’ve only lost one game here,” she said.
“It was disappointing going down, but we don’t stop fighting. It just shows our fight and determination. We’re a family and we don’t give up. Again, it’s our culture, we’re a family and we’re never going to stop until the final whistle.”
Taranto’s goal was set up by her sister, with the twin connection at play as Adriana swung in the corner for Melissa to nudge into the net.
“I saw it coming in. I thought it was coming to me but I thought someone was going to get a head on it, and everyone missed it so I just stuck my thigh out. Then I clicked that Age put it in, I don’t know, maybe it is the twin connection, who knows,” Melissa said.
The Western women will get straight back to work on the training track with an extra week to prepare for another huge clash in Round 3 as the Green and Black takes on Melbourne City.