A maiden A-League Men premiership remains within touching distance for Western United after they beat Macarthur FC 2-0 to close within two points of leaders Melbourne City.

Western United - Macarthur FC

  • Western beat Macarthur 2-0 in the A-League on Tuesday evening.
  • United now sit within two points of City with a game in hand.
  • They are second in the ladder while Macarthur are sixth.

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John Aloisi's United sit second with a game in hand on City, while they are six points clear of third-placed Melbourne Victory.

Aloisi delighted in United's rapid turnaround in his first season at the helm, and stressed he had learned from previous silverware near-misses at Brisbane Roar.

"It's exciting to be where we are, that's for sure," he said.

"We know that we're definitely going to finish top three now with the amount of points we have, and we're only two points behind City with a game in hand.

"At the beginning of pre-season, we said we want to be very competitive, that we want to be there fighting for something at the end of the season.

"We've given ourselves an opportunity now with one week to go and three games to play in that week."

Tuesday's victory and Saturday's 6-0 triumph over Perth proved a return to form after a 4-1 loss to Wellington that Aloisi believed had kickstarted United's season.

"You don't want to be going into the finals that you're just scraping through and just getting there. We want to go there in good form," he said.

"At times tonight we needed to dig deep and we showed that resilience that we showed earlier this season."

Connor Pain's wonderful volley from Tomoki Imai's pinpoint cross broke the deadlock in Launceston in the 57th minute on Tuesday.

Then, with Bulls goalkeeper Filip Kurto sent up for a 94th-minute corner, United broke on the counter, with Neil Kilkenny teeing up Aleksandar Prijovic to ice the game.

United goalkeeper Jamie Young consistently proved a thorn in Macarthur's side while the Bulls' task was made more difficult by Adrian Mariappa's 69th-minute send-off.

United will now relish a 10-day break before facing Central Coast while Macarthur host Victory on Friday.

Macarthur remain sixth, caught amid a jostle of teams, with just four points separating fourth-placed Adelaide and eighth-placed Central Coast.

Danny De Silva could return from injury against Melbourne Victory on Friday while coach Ante Milicic took heart from Tomi Juric playing his most minutes for the season against United.

"We played a decent match against a team that's fighting for top spot," Milicic said.

"But ultimately now it's about looking at who can recover, who can back up.

"We've been in this situation before, we've been in and around that top six the whole season and there's three games to go, all three at home.

"We've got enough quality in our dressing room and a belief that we can finish the season in in a positive and correct manner."


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