2020-21 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Víctor Sánchez (10')
  • Dylan Pierias (60', 64')
  • Tomoki Imai (75')
  • Steven Lustica (84')
  • Carlo Armiento (56', 78')
  • Bruno Fornaroli (58')
  • Nicholas D'Agostino (69')

Western United see off Perth Glory in nine-goal A-League thriller

Geelong's GMHBA Stadium was the scene of a chaotic A-League classic, with Steven Lustica the hero as Western United overcame Perth Glory in a 5-4 goalfest.

United snatched the lead through Victor Sanchez after just 10 minutes, before the teams traded eight goals in the space of half an hour in an enthralling second half -- with United youngster Dylan Pierias and Perth's Carlo Armiento each scoring a brace.

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The home team made their early dominance count when Connor Pain squared the ball to Lustica, who cleverly left it for Sanchez to curl a delightful shot into the top corner.

During the week, coach Mark Rudan had demanded more from skipper Alessandro Diamanti and the Johnny Warren Medallist responded, returning to his captivating best as United's midfield largely outhustled their Perth opponents.

Glory boss Richard Garcia hooked Daniel Stynes after just 38 minutes in favour of Armiento, who landed the Glory's first shot on target in added time. Perth swung two more changes at the break and burst out after half-time, with star striker Bruno Fornaroli sparking the contest to life. The Glory marksman shuffled on the ball then laid it off for Armiento to fire home from an angle in the 56th minute.

Two minutes later, Armiento repaid the favour, cutting the ball back for Fornaroli to cheekily back-heel the Glory in front.

In response to the goal, Rudan made three changes, bringing on Pierias, Lachie Wales and Brendan Hamill in one move. They paid off immediately when Wales burst down the left wing and lifted a cross over the Glory defence for Pierias to head home on 60 minutes. Four minutes later, the young attacker -- who hadn't scored in his previous 26 appearances -- controlled Tomoki Imai's cross, outmuscled his opponents and smashed home his second to regain the lead.

Perth quickly responded in the 69th minute when skipper Neil Kilkenny floated a free kick to the back post, where Nicholas D'Agostino snuck in to head home.

In the 75th, United regained their lead when Wales whipped a ball across the face of goal, with Imai pouncing at the far post.

Three minutes later, Armiento snared his brace when he reacted quickest at a free kick, drilling home a spilt ball to level the scores again.

But it would be United who had the last say in the 84th. After a pack of players met Diamanti's corner, the ball spilled out to Lustica, whose shot took a deflection and rattled home to hand United their first win of the campaign.