United through to grand final

Western United is through the A-League grand final. (Getty Images/Supplied)

Tara Murray

Western United is through to the A-League men’s grand final in just its third season after stunning Melbourne Victory in the second leg of the semi final on Saturday night.

Victory entered Saturday night’s game with the advantage after winning the first match 1-0 earlier in the week.

It would be United who would score first through Aleksandar Prijovic to level the series at 1-0. Victory hit back just before half time to level the match at 1-1 and get their noses in back in front.

The second half would be all United. Goals to Prijovic, Lachie Wales, and Dylan Wenzel-Halls would seal a 4-1 win and an overall 4-2 win to earn a grand final spot.

United coach John Aloisi said the moment was special for everyone involved in the club. There were some emotional scenes after the game as the players celebrated with their fans and families.

“It’s huge for the club, it’s only the third season,” he said. “There’s been a lot of people putting down the club.

“Some things I understand, we haven’t got a stadium and we’re still building our supporter base.

“We’re on a journey. So to get there so quickly for the club is huge.

“That helps the supporter base grow, and helps people believe in what we are doing as a club.”

Aloisi said as a group they were confident that they could get the job done on Saturday night despite trailing and not many people giving them a chance.

He said they spoke about making sure they stayed calm and the made the most of the moments when they came their way.

“We spoke about where we can hurt them, the opportunities we can create and where they can hurt you,” he said.

“That was our main focus trying to remain calm in a crazy game.

“The boys did well, the boys, worked, worked, and worked from day one of pre-season and it’s incredible.

“They just find energy from somewhere. They want to help each other and work for each other.”

Aloisi said they wanted to get a fast start to the match and then the second half, to put Victory on the back foot.

He said they kept it simple going into what might have been their last half of soccer for the season.

“They went 1-1 and I said to the boys remain calm and spoke about a few tactical things, nothing to dissimilar to what we were talking about before the game.

“We said we will get out chances, we’re well and truly in it, stick with what we’ve been doing all season, the result will be there for you end.

Aloisi said it was pleasing to get so many clear shots on goal. He praised the work for the front four, Prijovic, Wenzel-Halls, Connor Pain and Wales.

With the likes of Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Rene Krhin, Adisu Bayew and Alessandro Diamanti missing through injury, United has had to turn to its whole squad.

“Jerry Skotadis hardly played all season and we put him in the last three finals games hasn’t missed a beat,” Aloisi said.

“Its satisfying not only for him, but for his teammates as they see how hard he’s working every day.

“Rhys [Bozinovski] late in the game… a big occasion for an 18-year-old to be thrown in like that, he has hardly played.”

Personally, for Aloisi it’s the first time he has made the grand final as a coach at his third A-League club.

He admits that there were times he didn’t think he would get the opportunity.

“I’m just grateful the club has given me the opportunity,” he said.

“I didn’t think I would get another job in Australia, I didn’t. I’m grateful for these guys as I would have had to go overseas and I was seriously considering going overseas, as my passion is coaching, I love it.”

The grand final will be held on Saturday night at AMMI Park.