Zimarino the hero in Perth SC cup win
Report by Ryan Borrett
Photo by Football West/FotoEnzo
Perth SC's 70th anniversary celebrations reached new heights on Saturday as they added the McInerney Ford Top Four Cup to their NPL WA title by defeating Perth Glory 4-1 in the final at Frank Drago Reserve.
The Azzurri had to come from behind after being 1-0 down at half time.
But they were outstanding in the second half, and none better than Paul Zimarino who received the Gary Marocchi Medal as man of the match after scoring a hat-trick and inspiring his side to victory.
The clinical Zimarino brought Perth back onto level terms in the 67th minute before giving his side the lead five minutes later and adding his third late on to seal the result and see his side lift the silverware.
The trophy is the Azzurri's second of the season, having won the NPL WA on the final day of the season after trailing Glory for most of the way.
The clash saw the state’s two best teams come head to head once again after they met in the semi finals which Glory won on penalties after a 3-3 thriller. However Perth came out on top when it mattered most.
Perth SC coach Ramon Falzon said he was overjoyed to have done the double this season and said his side’s second half performance was the difference in the match.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” he said.
“The boys have been rewarded for their enormous hard work.
“It took a long time to get into the game, I thought Glory dominated the first 30 minutes.
“Our second half, our quality on the ball and the way we started driving forward made a big difference.”
It was Glory who started the match on the front foot and they created several chances in the opening minutes.
Their positive play resulted in the opening goal of the match in the 27th minute as Michael Domfeh turned his marker on the touchline before cutting back a cross to Michael McDougall, who finished well to give his side the lead.
The Azzurri slowly came into the game more as the first half progressed and almost found an equaliser in the 43rd minute but Kristan Santich’s long range effort was palmed onto the bar by Glory keeper Jackson Lee.
At half time it looked like the game could still go either way despite Glory’s 1-0 advantage, with both sides creating many good opportunities.
Glory’s Yacoub Mustafa almost doubled his side’s lead in the 62nd minute but his curling effort from outside the box was saved brilliantly by the diving Francis Soale.
And five minutes later Perth found an equaliser after Gustavo Catarcione’s header in the box was saved well by Lee but knocked into the path of Zimarino, who followed in to hammer home his first goal of the day and bring the scores level at 1-1.
Domfeh almost caught Perth’s defence napping just after the goal as he broke away on the counter and outran Rocco Pizzata but sent his shot wide, blowing a great chance.
That was Glory's last real threat and on 72 minutes they fell behind. Azzurri defender Alex Silla duelled with Chok Dau before winning the ball and darting down the right flank. Silla delivered the ball into the box and found Zimarino, who smashed in his second to make it 2-1.
Glory seemed rattled by Perth’s fightback and conceded again in the 75th minute after Nicolo Sabatini found Catarcione in the box who turned his marker and fired in a low shot under the legs of Lee and in to give his side a two goal advantage.
Despite the Azzurri playing midweek against Cockburn City in the Preliminary Final, tiredness wasn’t a problem as they pushed on until the final whistle.
Zimarino completed his hat-trick and capped off his excellent performance in the 85th minute as he broke on the counter and outran the Glory defence before shooting as Lee came off his line. Lee saved Zimarino’s first effort but could do nothing about his second shot on the rebound as it rolled in to make it 4-1 and seal their cup triumph.
Falzon said of Zimarino’s heroics: “Paul has had a fantastic season, he’s scored a lot of goals for us this year, never a hat-trick, but he waited for the right time to score one.”
Glory coach John Gibson said he was disappointed in his team’s performance.
“We weren’t good enough today,” he said.
“You’ve got to be honest, you have to give fantastic credit to Perth who showed fantastic spirit and wanted it more than us.
“Has the season been successful? We’ve shown some growth but it hasn’t been successful because we didn’t achieve what we set out to achieve in the end.”
Perth Glory 1 (McDougall 27min)
Perth SC 4 (Zimarino 67, 72, 85, Catarcione 75)
Saturday, September 8
Frank Drago Reserve
Referee: Adam Fielding
Assistant referees: Josh Mannella, Shane Skinner
Fourth official: Steven Gregory
Perth Glory: 1. Jackson LEE, 3. Sam RIAK, 4. Daniel WALSH, 5. Ollie ANNIS, 6. Callum TIMMINS (12. Jack LEECH 78), 7. Chok DAU (17. Gomo DUKULY 72), 8. Henry HORE, 9. Michael DOMFEH, 10. Michael MCDOUGALL (13. Aiden EDWARDS 78), 11. Yacoub MUSTAFA, 16. Zayd FARAH
Substitutes not used: 14. Nic MCDONALD, 20. Nicholas SPECA
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Perth SC: 1. Francis SOALE, 2. Alex SILLA, 4. Adrian MADASCHI, 5. Niccolo SABATINI, 6. Harley ORR, 9. Gustavo CATARCIONE (7. Aleksander JOVIC 89), 11. Matthew MILENKOVIC (16. Keiran COLWELL 86), 12. Jordan DE LEO, 13. Rocco PIZZATA, 14. Kristan SANTICH (10. Nicholas AMBROGIO 83), 20. Paul ZIMARINO
Substitutes not used: 19. Adam ZIMARINO, 23. Malek KUC
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil