Western United Weekly Wrap: June 21-23

Western United Academy

Western United looked to maintain its unbeaten run in this 2024 VPL 1 Men season at home against North Geelong Warriors while the Junior Academy teams hit the road as their respective seasons approach the halfway point.

Series Futsal Victoria status was on the line for United’s men’s futsal side while the women’s outfit competed in the state championships.

Western United VPL 1 Men

Western United 2-2 North Geelong Warriors

Goal scorers: N.Koek (32’, 36’)

Without a loss since mid-April, the Western United Senior’s sought to extend that streak against North Geelong Warriors and remain right in the heat of the battle at the top of the table.

The Green and Black got off to an excellent start with Nicolas Koek firing twice in quick succession just after the half hour mark.

The first showed brilliant close control and an unerring finish in the box while the second was thanks to some superb work on the left by Lachlan Grundy with Koek finishing from the left-back’s cross.

With that brace, Koek moved alongside Abel Walatee on 10 goals for the season, with the United pair equal-second in the golden boot race.

North Geelong pulled one back almost immediately and would ultimately square the ledger soon after the half-time interval.

Diogo Ferreira’s men remained on the front foot until the final whistle and did everything but score, striking the woodwork and coming agonisingly close to securing the win.

Making it now nine games in a row without defeat, United sits in fourth place and is now just three points off leaders Melbourne Victory and only one point behind Northcote City and Preston Lions who are equal on points in second and third respectively.

Western United U23 VPL 1 Men

Western United 6-0 North Geelong Warriors

Goal scorers: H.Lumu (42’), A.Omer (53’), C.Dovison (66’), J.Nasso (72’), C.Naveen (83’), A.Marmura (90+2’)

The Under 23’s had a similarly tight first half in their clash against North Geelong but blew the game open in a blistering second half.

A 6-0 thumping was courtesy of six different goal scorers with a mixture of high-pressing, slick build-up, pinpoint crossing and excellent finishing to pad the scoreboard.

Hasani Lumu sprinkled his effect across the match with the opening goal and two assists, one of which was for the side’s top scorer in Campbell Dovison, taking his total to 14.

The pick of the bunch was Jacob Nasso’s strike, a deadly finish into the bottom corner from outside the box after a graceful pirouette to evade trouble.

Western United remains at the top of the table in the Under 23’s competition, one point clear of FC Bulleen Lions with Melbourne Victory an additional point further back.

Western United Junior Academy teams

Western United’s Junior Academy teams were all away from home for their Round 9 showdowns. The Under 14’s, 15’s and 16’s all went to Malvern City, while the Under 18’s faced Whittlesea Ranges.

After trailing at the break, a Benjamin Blewett goal helped the Under 14’s secure a 1-1 draw before the Under 15’s and Under 16’s both fell to defeat.

The Under 18’s ensured a positive end to the day for the Green and Black as a first-half brace from Joseph Lettieri helped set up a 4-1 triumph. Johnathon Hassan and Ethan Robinson scored a goal each after the break.

Western United Junior Academy scores

Under 14’s

Malvern City 1-1 Western United

Goal scorer: B.Blewett (37’)

Under 15’s

Malvern City 1-0 Western United

Under 16’s

Malvern City 4-1 Western United

Goal scorer: A.Islam (46’)

Under 18’s

Whittlesea Ranges FC 1-4 Western United

Goal scorers: J.Lettieri (4’, 15’), J.Hassan (50’), E.Robinson

Western United Futsal

Adding to a huge few weeks of Western United futsal action, there were two more milestones reached over the past week of matches.

After its first season together, the women’s side became 2024 State Futsal Champions in the Under-23 category, going through the campaign undefeated. United star Laila Abdullatif won the golden boot award at the tournament.

That was then followed by high drama in the men’s competition with a two-legged play-off against Northern Phoenix to retain a place in the top flight.

After a 3-3 draw in the first leg, United found itself 4-3 down with less than 30 seconds remaining but Elias Parthimos found Darcy Skopelitis to equalise at the death and send the tie to a penalty shootout.

Ernie Simsek was the only scorer in that shootout, giving Western United a famous result and keeping the side’s place in Series Futsal Victoria for the 2024/2 season.

Gui Costa’s side will now look to use that adrenaline rush as a motivator for the Clubs Cup Final against Moreland Blues FC this Friday, 28 June at 8pm at Futsal Oz Thomastown.