MATCH WRAP: Glory wait on final opponents
Football West News
Photo by Tom McCarthy/@tom_mc_c
Perth SC and Cockburn City will meet at Dorrien Gardens on Tuesday night for a place in the McInerney Ford Top Four Cup Final against Perth Glory.
The preliminary final comes after a thrilling semi final double-header on Saturday, with both games being decided by penalty shoot-outs following 3-3 draws.
New NPL WA champions Perth SC and Glory, the team they pipped for the title on the final day of the season, served up a breathless encounter at Dorrien Gardens which saw two last-minute equalisers.
Paul Zimarino opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a brilliant curling strike, only for Chok Dau to level for Glory before half-time.
Early in the second half Matthew Milenkovic put Perth SC back in front, before Michael Domfeh sent the match into extra time with an 89th-minute header.
Glory snatched the lead for the first time in the opening period of extra time when Domfeh struck again, but right on cue Zimarino took the match to penalties when he got on the end of Milenkovic’s right-wing cross.
Goalkeeper Jackson Lee was the hero for Glory in the shoot-out, saving from Milenkovic and Adrian Madaschi, before Dau put away the winning penalty.
Glory coach John Gibson said: “We had to do it the hard way, and you run out of superlatives after Perth kept coming back all the time.”
The penalty shoot-out loss was the third the Azzurri have suffered this year after similar defeats in the Night Series and FFA Cup.
Coach Ramon Falzon said: “It was a back and forth game and it was probably the best game I’ve seen this year, both teams created a lot of chances.”
The excitement of that game was matched a few hours later at Dalmatinac Park as Cockburn and Bayswater City served up a similar treat.
The visitors struck first through Daniel Robinson’s penalty. Bayswater then picked up the pace and levelled five minutes before half-time when Jesse Lazzaro inadvertently turned the ball into his own net.
Yet there was still time for Cockburn to retake the lead before half-time, danger man Harry O’Brien firing home through a sea of bodies.
Fittingly for a knockout tie the two sides were trading blows like two prize fighters and it was Bayswater who landed next thanks to Luke Salmon, only for Robinson to return fire and make it 3-2 for Cockburn.
Back came Bayswater and another goal from Salmon levelled the score for a third time.
Bayswater’s former Cockburn man Gian Albano had the best chance in extra time but shot wide, ensuring another penalty shoot-out was required.
The first nine spot-kicks were converted, meaning Salmon needed to net to force sudden death. Alas, the youngster’s penalty was saved by Luke Radonich and it was Cockburn who advanced to a clash with Perth SC.
Cockerels coach Scott Miller said: “We know Perth are a very good team, we had a draw with them in the first round and then they beat us in a close game at their home ground.
“So we will go over there with no worries and have a crack at beating the champions."
Unlike Perth SC, there is no second chance for Bayswater whose season at least ended with all guns blazing.
Coach Chris Coyne said: “I think on the run of the game we deserved to get a result. But that’s taking nothing away from Cockburn because I thought it was a really good game of football.”
Saturday, September 1
McInerney Ford Top Four Cup Semi Finals
Perth SC 3 (Zimarino 13min, 119, Milenkovic 50)
Perth Glory 3 (Dau 37min, Domfeh 89, 102)
(Perth Glory win 4-2 on penalties)
FULL MATCH REPORT HERE
Cockburn City 3 (Robinson 8min, 73, O'Brien 44)
Bayswater City 3 (Lazzaro og 40min, Salmon 61, 75)
(Cockburn win 5-4 on penalties)
FULL MATCH REPORT HERE
Tuesday, September 4
McInerney Ford Top Four Cup Preliminary Final
Perth SC v Cockburn City (Dorrien Gardens, 7pm – free admission)
Saturday, September 8
McInerney Ford Top Four Cup Preliminary Grand Final
Perth Glory v Perth SC or Cockburn City (Frank Drago Reserve, 3pm)