Western United will return to the A-League Men Finals this weekend for the second time in its three-year history to date.
The Green and Black achieved a third-placed finish on the A-League Men table – the best in the Club’s history – meaning it will take on Wellington Phoenix in an Elimination Final at AAMI Park on Saturday May 14.
This will be the first time United will be able to play a Finals match in front of a home crowd in Melbourne, with strong memories remaining from the 2019/20 post-season in the New South Wales hub.
August 23 2020 – Western United def. Brisbane Roar 1-0
After COVID-19 had interrupted the 2019/20 A-League Men season, Western United won four of its final six games in the hub to reach the finals in fifth place.
That set up a meeting with Brisbane Roar at CommBank Stadium in Western Sydney and it produced a fiery 90 minutes of Finals football.
Western United captain Alessandro Diamanti netted the only goal of the game in the 20th minute, but both sides had chances to add the score line.
Diamanti, who had only recently won the Johnny Warren Medal at the time, bent a superb free-kick past Jamie Young in goal as he shape to cross before whipping his foot through the ball and sending it into the top corner of the net on his own.
The Italian then nearly added a brilliant assist to go with his goal as he played Josh Risdon in behind down the right-hand side, but Young made a spectacular save to deny his future teammate and prevent Max Burgess from getting a chance at a rebound.
It was a game full of influence from future Western United players as Brad Inman later hit the post for Brisbane as the Green and Black held onto the result and a famous first Finals win.
A number of current first-teamers will be able to carry the experience of that match with Tomoki Imai, Connor Pain, Dylan Pierias, Steven Lustica and Ryan Scott all apart of the United squad at the time, as well as Diamanti and Risdon.
Alongside their new teammates, those players will be hoping for another landmark win in the Finals for Western United and will be eager to go one better this time and fight for the A-League Men Championship.