Western United stun Sydney to clinch finals berth

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Western United have confirmed their status as the A-League's form team by collecting a last-gasp 2-1 win over Premiers Plate winners Sydney FC.

Steven Lustica netted Western's winner seconds before the clock ticked over to 90 minutes, against the run of play after the Premiers Plate winners had dominated periods of the second half.

The result means the defending A-League champions have not won in their past five matches.

Conversely, Mark Rudan's side officially secured their place in the finals and are up to fifth to underline their status as the competition's form side.

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Besart Berisha opened the scoring with a tap-in on 21 minutes after the influential Alessandro Diamanti created the chance.

Sydney FC striker Adam Le Fondre hit his 20th of the campaign soon after halftime to join Melbourne City's Jamie Maclaren at the top of the golden boot chart.

Western came into the match as the A-League's form team and made it six wins in their past seven games.

They almost went two goals up midway through the first half but Diamanti hit the crossbar with an audacious effort from near the half-way line.

The Sky Blues weren't without their chances though and they briefly threatened to overrun United after Le Fondre equalised with a close-range effort from Luke Brattan's cross seven minutes after the break.

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While the pace of the contest dropped in the latter stages, Sydney was starting to resemble their old selves, yet it was United who collected all three points after Lustica finished a swift counter-attack.

Western round off their regular season against second-placed Melbourne City - a win would secure third spot in their inaugural campaign while a draw would be enough for them to finish fourth.

Source AAP