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Big-game Prijovic relishes ALM medal

Aleksandar Prijovic joined Western United determined to make an impact in big games.

After all, he has played at a World Cup and in the Champions League.

In Saturday night’s A-League Men grand final, Prijovic scored one goal, had an influence on Nuno Reis’ opening own goal and was excellent throughout the 2-0 win over Melbourne City, claiming the Joe Marston Medal.

“That (performing in finals) definitely was a target of mine when I came here and I’m happy that I could fulfil it, that I could deliver in the right moment,” he told Network 10.

“In the very beginning, John (Aloisi) told me that finals are the most important thing and that I have to be ready for that.

“So I guess I was ready. I’m happy to deliver.”

United scored in the second minute when former City man Ben Garuccio whipped in a corner to the near post and Prijovic rose highest but the ball bounced off Nuno Reis’ head for an own goal.

They doubled their lead on the half-hour when a blocked shot ricocheted off Connor Pain’s face, took a touch off City’s Connor Metcalfe and skidded into the path of Prijovic, who coolly finished.

The goal was originally chalked off but, after a quick review with VAR Kris Griffiths-Jones, referee Chris Beath awarded it.

“Individual awards are always important but they have been achieved as a team and today the team has been amazing,” Prijovic said.

“From the coaching staff to everyone, to the fans, everything went in our way.

“We believed in it from the very beginning, as soon as we reached the final, that it was going to be tough but we are going to take it.

“Not many believed in us – probabaly a lot of people lost a lot of money today. This is life but we believed and it has been a very long year

“We did a fantastic job today and I think everyone agrees in the stadium that we fully deserved this victory.”

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