A-League Men: Western United upset Melbourne City to clinch the title

United won the title courtesy of an own goal by Nuno Reis inside the opening 2 minutes and Aleksandar Prijovic's strike on the half-hour mark.

Western United player in a file photo Credit: Twitter/@wufcofficial
By Sreejith C R | May 29, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Western United beat Melbourne City 2-0 in the final to clinch the A-League Men title. The defending champions were aiming to add the championship to a Premiers Plate for the second straight season, but United denied their historic bid and made it two years in a row that expansion clubs have won the grand finale.  United finished third in the league stage and went on to get the better of Melbourne Victory over two-legs in the semi-final stage before defeating Melbourne City in the title-decider. Meanwhile it was the first piece of silverware for head coach John Aloisi who look charge of the club last year. United took a gamble with the 46-year-old tactician who had not coached since 2018 after a rough end to his time at Brisbane roar. 

Western United became the second expansion club to lift the title

It paid off, as United became the first team after Melbourne Victory in 2018 to win from outside the top two. The Melbourne-based United only joined the league in the 2019-20 campaign as an expansion club and were in their maiden final. But they never got intimidated against more experienced opponents and quickly took the lead inside the opening two minutes. Nuno Reis headed the ball into his own net from a United corner. It was an A-League Men record for the fastest goal in a grand final, coming just 100 seconds after the kick-off in front of 22,495 fans at AAMI Park.

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Prijovic doubled the lead

United looked a bit more sharper than their opponents and continued to push forward for the second and deservedly got it on the half-hour mark. There was more luck involved in United’s second goal of the night. Conor Pain’s strike from outside the box deflected off a City defender and fell kindly to the path of Aleksandar Prijovic, who poked home from in front of goal. The linesman raised his flag for offside, but VAR found the Serbian was inside and the goal was awarded.

United goalkeeper Jamie Young made some brilliant saves

City, who had finished the regular season in first place, started to put pressure on the opponent and pushed men forward, but couldn’t find a way past the United defence and veteran goalkeeper Jamie Young. One of City’s best chances came in the 48th minute when Curtis Good’s header from a free-kick hit the crossbar. And then, Andrew Nabbout went close as they started asking questions. But United’s defence held firm under relentless attack with goalkeeper Young pulling off fantastic saves from Nabbout and Scott Galloway to ensure they pulled off a big upset in their short life. 

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