Western United Head Coach. John Aloisi said he’s looking forward to the test Sydney United will provide for his side in the Australia Cup Round of 16.
The defending A-League Champions are through to the Round of 16 for the first time after defeating last year’s Australia Cup winners Melbourne Victory 2-1 in Round of 32 action at AAMI Park on Wednesday night.
A George Timotheou own goal had United in front at the break before a Jake Brimmer screamer levelled the scores just three minutes into the second half.
Victory’s parity was short lived Lachie Wales netting what proved to be the match winner just five minutes later.
Aloisi, who reaches the competition’s last 16 for the first time as a coach said he was delighted with the character shown by his side in Wednesday’s win.
“Great result for the club. We showed strong mentality because we’ve got a very thin squad at the moment, we’re very early in pre-season against a side that was a couple of weeks ahead of us,” Aloisi said.
“They (Victory) prepared for the Manchester United game, played a friendly, we haven’t played a friendly.
“That was our first hit-out, so I’m really pleased for the players and the club because they showed again the character that we’ve got.
“Of course, it was a difficult game for us but it’s great to get the win and keep confidence building for the season because that’s what we want to do, keep building for the start of the A-League season.”
Awaiting Western United in the Round of 16 are NPL New South Wales outfit, Sydney United who defeated Monaro Panthers 3-0 at the Sydney United Sports Centre on Wednesday night.
A goal from former Western United forward, Patrick Antelmi had the home side in front at the break, before second half strikes from two more players with A-League experience in Chris Payne and Kyle Cimenti rounded out a comprehensive victory for the side from Edensor Park.
Aloisi said he was under no illusions as to the challenge that would be presented by Sydney United, who are into the Round of 16 for a fifth time.
“They’ll be difficult, they’re a club with a lot of history from the NSL days, a lot players have come through that club and played at the highest level, (Tony) Popovic being one of them,” Aloisi said.
“We expect a difficult game and they’ll be ready to try and knock off the Champions of last season, so we’ll just have to keep on preparing and keep building and be ready for that game.”
Australia Cup Round of 16 match details will be released in the coming days.