Socceroos legend’s reaction says it all after Western intel sparks ‘pure class’ moment

Catch the highlights as Western United hosted Newcastle Jets in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Western United won an Isuzu UTE A-League match for the first time since December courtesy of Friday night’s 2-0 victory against Newcastle Jets.

Bottom of the standings, Western took a seven-game winless run into the contest AAMI Park but that drought ended in Round 17 with just their third triumph of the season.

Daniel Penha’s moment of “pure class” – a ‘panenka’ penalty in the 16th minute, set the tone before Noah Botic sealed the points 10 minutes into the second half as Western won for the first time since December 15.


Western’s win and first clean sheet of the campaign, though, was soured by a late red card to James Donachie – who saw red for a dangerous challenge on Brandon O’Neill which was upgraded following a VAR review.

The 10th-placed Jets were not without chances, but the visitors were made to rue missed opportunities on the road.

“I was trying at train in a friendly match at training and I was doing it,” Penha told Paramount+ post-game when asked if he had planned the ‘panenka.

“I was ready to do it and I just asked the guys, because Ryan Scott played here last season, and I asked them if he stayed in the middle (of the goals). But they said no, so I just said I’ll try.”

Western boss and Socceroos legend John Aloisi, who scored the iconic penalty that sent Australia to the 2006 FIFA Men’s World Cup, was asked about the spot-kick and if he would ever try something like it.

“I would never take a penalty like that,” Aloisi told Paramount+. “I never did take a penalty like that.

“I didn’t have the class of Daniel.”

Western made a bright start at AAMI Park, where Lachie Wales’ sublime pass with the outside of his boot released Matthew Grimaldi but he sprayed his effort just wide in the eighth minute.

After Noah Botic’s goal-bound effort was blocked, Western were awarded a penalty as Nathan Grimaldi was penalised for a handball and Penha stepped up to convert the 16th-minute spot-kick in the coolest of fashion.

“They say form is temporary and class is permanent, and that is class… Pure class,” said Paramount+ co-commentator Phil Moss.

Newcastle responded well to falling behind in Melbourne, where Nathan Grimaldi looked to make amends at the other end after he fired his volley over the bar.

Jets teammate Trent Buhagiar then had two great chances in quick succession to draw level – first he headed the ball between two defenders to find himself through on goal but he was unable to steady himself as Tom Heward-Belle got down low to keep the ball out.

Moments later, Buhagiar than forced a fine diving save from Heward-Belle, while at the other end, Matthew Grimaldi tried to curl the ball into the back of the net but Jets shot-stopper Ryan Scott sensationally pushed it away for a corner.

Western created some breathing space for themselves 10 minutes into the second half thanks to Botic, who got on the end of an inch-perfect cross from Josh Ridson.

The Jets huffed and puffed but there was just no way past Heward-Belle as Buhagiar found on Friday night, while a scrambling Risdon somehow kept out Apostolos Stamatelopoulos in stoppage time.