Coronavirus proving to be Western United’s fiercest opponent

-

As Western United scraped home to yet another 1-0 win, all attention was focused on the statement that they had released 15 minutes prior to kick-off.

A Connor Pain goal late in the first half saw the side claim a club-record fourth successive win, as a defensive masterclass by the ever-impressive Leo Lacroix saw the home side hold on for all three points despite a late barrage from Adelaide United.

The tale of the on-pitch activities was once again Western United’s inability to kill of the game with a second goal.

Embed from Getty Images

John Aloisi provided a staunch response when questioned whether he was frustrated with his side’s inability to kill off the game.

After all, it’s now been four games in a row with the same 1-0 score line.

“No,” Aloisi said strongly, giving a pause for effect before continuing.

“At this moment in time, we’re not able to play football that we want to play with the ball [due to player absences] but we are showing great qualities in how we defend as a team”.

“I can’t be more pleased with the playing group and the club.”

There was a point in time earlier this week in which the game wasn’t assured of going ahead. The club confirmed a positive case on Tuesday, and another two just 15 minutes prior to Friday’s match.

Embed from Getty Images

As such, whilst not confirming the identity of the players involved, it meant first-choice left-back Ben Garuccio was missing from the line-up.

For Western United, it meant a change in both preparation and performance.

“With the week that we had to deal with, that just shows the spirit of the team and the club,” Aloisi said.

“We followed all of the right protocols and then it’s unfortunate. We knew this could happen.

Embed from Getty Images

“Training had to change times, you’re not sure if you’re going to play the game or not play the game but the club worked tirelessly in the background, the players remained focused and showed their character because we had to fight.

“[For example] we couldn’t do a film session inside, we had to train outdoors and then go home.”

Covid-19 is proving to be the trickiest opponent for most clubs so far this season.

Perth Glory are now expected to spend the next 14 days in hotel quarantine within Queensland. This is on top of their inability to currently play home matches due to the local government’s extremely stringent restrictions.

Embed from Getty Images

It means that clubs from New South Wales and Victoria are unable to enter the state.

Wellington Phoenix are expected to spend another season based out of Wollongong, whilst Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets have had starting players recently test positive for Covid-19.

Socceroo Rhyan Grant and emerging stars Angus Thurgate and Noah Smith were among those to contract the virus over the past 10 days.

Embed from Getty Images

With games having to be rescheduled and teams being compromised in their ability to prepare, it paints an interesting proposition.

The league and fans are hopeful that the competition won’t be forced to shut down.

Western United are yet to play a match outside of Victoria and are already facing these troubles. Just imagine when they begin travelling around the country.

It is just a sign of the times we are currently living in, and for the time being, we can only hope that it doesn’t get worse.

But for now, nothing will take the shine of Western United’s fourth successive A-League Men’s win. It’s a feat that they had never achieved before and another feather in Aloisi’s already impressive first season in charge of the green and black.

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

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

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required