Wenzel-Halls sparks Utd win over Glory

December 2, 2021 BY

Upstairs: Western United’s Benjamin Garuccio, Dylan Pierias and Connor Pain celebrate after a controversial goal was allowed on VAR, handing the home side victory over Perth Glory. Photo: DANIEL POCKETT/ AAP IMAGE

WESTERN United have snared their first A-League Men victory under new coach John Aloisi with recruit Dylan Wenzel-Halls scoring in a scrappy 1-0 triumph over an under-strength Perth Glory.

Former Brisbane striker Wenzel-Halls was brought on in the 70th minute Aleksandar Prijovic, 70th minute and he provided the winner eight minutes later at AAMI Park last Friday night.

Yet the win wasn’t without controversy when the goal was allowed following VAR review.

Perth coach Richard Garcia has queried the use of the VAR in the A-League Men competition.

In the lead up to the marker Connor Pain burst down the wing, cut towards the goal line and then sent a cross towards goal, but Perth players had stopped, thinking Pain had taken the ball out of play.

But Pain’s cross skidded past goalkeeper Brad Jones then deflected off the far post and into the path of Wenzel-Halls, who tapped home.

“I’ve seen the still now and I’ve seen that the ball is out,” Garcia said. “Honestly, it’s an ongoing battle and we either fix the system [VAR] or we don’t use it at all because it’s continuously happening in games over and over again.

“Do we have the resources to use it? Are we using it properly? I’m not sure. That’s not my job to make comments on that system.

“But at the moment, it doesn’t seem to be getting the right decisions at the right times and we’ve seen it in multiple games and not just our games.”

United counterpart John Aloisi said he hadn’t seen the replay of the goal as he’d been celebrating, but added that “we have to trust the VAR” and that it was hard to be definitive given there wasn’t a camera on the line.

“We might have had that little bit of luck that we needed tonight,” he said.

“But I don’t know, I didn’t see the replay or anything like that and I haven’t checked our camera if the ball went out.”

Aloisi relished his first ALM victory at United, despite believing his team’s performance wasn’t as good as in their opening-round loss to Victory.

“It was great to get that first win because no matter what, you become a little bit anxious when you don’t have those three points,” he said.

Perth’s star recruit Daniel Sturridge was expected to build on the handful of minutes he had off the bench on debut against Adelaide but wasn’t even listed on the team sheet.

In the first outing of Perth’s eight-game road trip, skipper Brandon O’Neill and striker Andy Keogh were also absent.

But United were unable to take early advantage.

The best chance of the first half came in the 20th minute when United skipper Alessandro Diamanti tried his luck with an ambitious shot from just inside his own half, forcing Glory goalkeeper Brad Jones to backtrack and make a last- ditch save.

After half-time, Glory star Bruno Fornaroli had a chance to snatch the lead in the 51st but was well denied by Jamie Young, who advanced to claim the ball.

The game sparked to life when Wenzel-Halls was introduced for Prijovic.

In the 76th minute the young striker put a close-range attempt wide, while two minutes later Wenzel-Halls volleyed straight at Jones.

A couple of minutes later Wenzel-Halls scored the controversial goal.

Some deft defensive work from Leo Lacroix foiled a Perth attack late in the game and United held on for all three points.

 

– BY ANNA HARRINGTON/ AAP

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