Dylan Wenzel-Halls the saviour as Western United scrape past Perth Glory

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Second-half substitute Dylan Wenzel-Halls scored his first goal for Western United as they edged past Perth Glory 1-0 at AAMI Park on Friday night.

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In what looked likely to be a match with fireworks at both ends, the first-half was anything but that.

Both sides seemed to be allergic to the middle of the pitch, focusing the majority of play on the wings. With both teams fielding their second-choice defensive midfielders (Rene Khrin and Brandon O’Neill both out), it seemed like an odd directive.

An early yellow card to Aaron Calver set the tone for a physical first 45 minutes.

In what many would consider to be a weakened Perth line-up without O’Neill, Andy Keogh and Daniel Sturridge, they were the stronger of the two sides.

The best chance fell to Bruno Fornaroli in the 44th minute. Adrian Sardinero slipped in a through ball behind the United defence, but the Uruguayan dragged his shot wide of the far post.

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Western United offered a lack of creativity beyond Alessandro Diamanti’s individual brilliance. This came to the fore in the 20th minute, as the former West Ham midfielder picked up a loose ball inside the centre circle and attempted to chip Brad Jones.

To the relief of everyone on the Glory bench, the ball held up in the wind and was tipped over the bar by the keeper.

Aside from Diamanti somehow managing to kick the ball onto the roof of AAMI Park, that was about it for a relatively stale first-half.

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The second-half brought about a change in formation for Perth, but much of the same final product.

Fornaroli was guilty of missing another guilt-edged chanCe in the 51st minute, as he shot directly at Young from a one-on-one in front of goal.

The end-to-end feel continued as players began to get tired. Dylan Wenzel-Halls tested Jones with a volley inside the box, before the breakthrough came less than 60 seconds later.

Diamanti’s through ball released Connor Pain, who dribbled to the by-line and directed his shot at the near post. Somehow the ball beat Jones and hit the post, landing at the feet of Wenzel-Halls, who had the easiest tap-in of his life.

After a contentious pause to see if the ball had crossed the line prior to Pain’s shot, the referee awarded the goal.

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Wenzel-Halls almost added a second in the final minute as Jones made his way into the box for a corner. The ball made its way to the striker but he was unable to get enough power on his shot from a long way out.

It leaves Perth chasing their first win ahead of a tricky clash away at Melbourne Victory next week. For United, it takes some of the pressure off Aloisi ahead of next week’s derby against Melbourne City.

Western United 1 (Wenzel-Halls 78’)

Perth Glory 0

Stadium: AAMI Park

Referee: Jonathan Barreiro

Assistant Referees: Daniel Illievski & Andrew Meimarakis

Fourth Official: Adam Bavcar

Western United: Jamie YOUNG (GK), Joshua Risdon, Tomoki IMAI (Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY 46’), Leo LACROIX, Ben GARUCCIO, Neil KILKENNY, Steven LUSTICA, Alessandro DIAMANTI (C), Lachlan WALES (Dylan PIERIAS 71’), Connor PAIN, Aleksandar PRIJOVIC (Dylan WENZEL-HALLS 71’)

Unused subs: Ryan SCOTT (GK), Nicolas MILANOVIC, Jerry SKOTADIS, Christian THEOHAROUS

Perth Glory: Brad JONES (GK), Aaron CALVER, Luke BODNAR (Joshua RAWLINS 80’), Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, Darryl LACHMAN, Kosuke OTA, Jack CLISBY (Pacifique NIYONGABIRE 46’), Daniel STYNES, Antonee BURKE-GILROY, Adrian SARDINERO (Ciaran BRAMWELL 46’), Bruno FORNAROLI

Unused subs: Cameron COOK (GK), Giordano COLLI, Aidan COYNE, Chris DONNELL

Feature image credit: Western United

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Dillon Izon
Dillon Izon
Marketing graduate at Monash University. Sports addicted, fan of Manchester United and Melbourne City. My gran “knows” Gareth Bale.

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