Perth one win from title
Report by Tommy Doleman
Perth SC celebrate their third goal, scored by Paul Zimarino. Photo by FotoEnzo
Perth Soccer Club are one win from retaining their NPL WA title after they bounced back from last week's defeat to Floreat with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Balcatta at Dorrien Gardens.
With three matches remaining, starting with next weekend's trip to Armadale, the Azzurri look almost certain to be celebrating a third NPL WA league title in four years.
Balcatta dropped to fourth on the table with Saturday's defeat but remain in the final Top Four Cup spot after Bayswater, Sorrento and Perth Glory all failed to win.
With Perth top scorer Michael Domfeh suspended, Gustavo Catarcione led the line on his own and he forced visiting goalkeeper David Keenan into two saves inside 10 minutes.
Balcatta served it up to the hosts in the first half, though. Their best two chances landed with Adam Zimarino as he forced Francis Soale into a smart save before flashing across the face of goal.
Shubham Mokala then curled over, while at the other end Matt Milenkovic flashed one wide of the upright, before Keenan came flying off his line, collided into Catarcione and conceded a penalty three minutes before half time.
Harley Orr stepped up and sent Keenan the wrong way to dispatch his fifth NPL WA goal of the season and Perth went into the break a goal up.
The home side doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half when Andreas Theodosiades swung in a corner and Mikenkovic headed in via a combination of post and bar to make it 2-0.
From then on, Perth controlled proceedings and never looked likely to give up that lead, although Nicholas Challot did worry the home side's back four for an initial period with the final ball lacking.
There was time for the leaders to add a third as substitute Kristian Santich's ball found Catarcione in the area. He bided his time and squared for Paul Zimarino to roll into the open goal.
Zimarino should have added a fourth late on as he poked wide from Keenan's initial save, but it mattered little as Perth crept closer to league silverware once more.
Star player: Matt Milenkovic (Perth SC)
NPL WA Round 19
Perth SC 3 (Orr pen 42min, Milenkovic 56, Zimarino 82)
Saturday 10 August, 2019
Referee: Josh Mannella
Assistant referees: Arvin Shanmuganathan, Simon Hicks
Perth SC: GK: Francis SOALE, 3. Andreas THEODOSIADES (14. Kristian SANTICH 77), 6. Harley ORR, 7. Aleks JOVIC, 9. Gustavo CATARCIONE (2. Alex SILLA 84), 11. Matt MILENKOVIC, 12. Jordan DE LEO, 13. Rocco PIZZATA (5. Niccolo SABATINI 74) 19. Bojan RADINOVIC, 20. Paul ZIMARINO
Substitutes not used: RGK: Dejan ALEKSIC, 17. Frank FURFARO
Yellow cards: Jovic 72
Red cards: Nil
Balcatta SC: GK: David KEENAN, 2. Joseph MARINO, 3. John KEARNEY, 4. Calum O'CONNELL, 5. Shubham MOKALA, 7. Ben PELLIZZARI (14. Luke RANDAZZO 46), 10. Jonathan CORNESS, 12. Robert DEL BORRELLO, 16. Alex CASTIELLO, 20. Anthony TOPINI (19. Nicholas CHALLOT 58), 21. Adam ZIMARINO (9. Gavin KNIGHT 71)
Substitutes not used: 13. Carmelo GIUFFRE, 15. Callum STOCKS
Yellow cards: Del Borrello 11, Keenan 41
Red cards: Nil