Top Four Cup: Inglewood straight into final
Report by Ryan Borrett
Inglewood United are through to the final of the Top Four Cup after upsetting NPL WA champions Perth SC 3-1 at Dorrien Gardens.
Harry Evans’ free kick opened the scoring and gave Inglewood the lead early in the second half but Golden Boot winner Michael Domfeh equalised for Perth only a few minutes later.
As the match wore on it looked like the result would be settled in extra time or a penalty shoot-out.
But with stoppage time looming, substitute Brian Farrell struck to put Inglewood 2-1 up before in-form Steve Sokol sealed a terrific win for Andres Oliveira's side.
The first half saw few chances and neither side could get on top.
But Inglewood started the second half the better side and came close to opening the scoring in the 51st minute but Sokol sprayed his shot wide after Jason Barrera found him in the area.
However, United did take the lead in the 58th minute thanks to a brilliant curling free-kick from Evans from the edge of the box.
But the away side’s celebrations were short lived. Perth playmaker Kristian Santich found the run of Domfeh on the counter and the striker chipped his shot over the oncoming Alexander Dunn and into the bottom corner to make it 1-1.
Back came Inglewood and Chok Dau almost netted another free-kick goal for Inglewood in the 75th minute but his effort rattled the post.
Perth lacked their usual control and creative flair that saw them win this year’s league title by 11 points and Inglewood determination was rewarded in the final minutes of the contest.
In the 90th minute Inglewood took the lead after Farrell held the ball up well on the edge of the box before unleashing an excellent chipped finish over the scrambling Perth defenders and goalkeeper Dejan Aleksic.
Two-one quickly became 3-1 as Perth pushed extra men forward and Sokol found enough space before dinking his shot over Aleksic.
Despite defeat Perth’s hopes of two consecutive league and cup doubles are not over as they will face Floreat in midweek to decide who will be up against Inglewood in next Saturday's final.
But plaudits have to go to Inglewood who have won their last four matches and found form when it matters most.
Star player: Steve Sokol (Inglewood United)
Perth SC 1 (Domfeh 60min)
Inglewood United 3 (Evans 58, Farrell 90, Sokol 90+1)
Saturday, September 7, 2019
Referee: David Bruce
Assistant referees: Michael Jasinski, Shane Skinner
Fourth official: Tom Glavovic
Perth SC: (GK) 23. Dejan ALEKSIC,2. Alex SILLA, 3. Andreas THEODOSIADES, 5. Niccolo SABATINI, 6. Harley ORR, 7. Aleksandar Jovic, 14. Kristian SANTICH, 16. Kieran COLWELL, 18. Michael DOMFEH, 19. Bojan RADINOVIC, 20. Paul ZIMARINO
Substitutes not used: 1. Adrian SINAGIA, 12. Jordan DE LEO, 13. Rocco PIZZATA, 15. Jawad REZAI, 17. Frank FURFARO
Yellow cards: Domfeh 18, Sabatini 56, Radinovic 68
Red cards: Nil
Inglewood United: (GK)1. Alexander DUNN, 2. Alexander ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 3. David CYRUS, 8. Jason BARRERA (4. Scott BLACKMORE 82), 9. Chok DAU (5. Samuel RIAK 90+2), 10. Anthony BAFOBUSHA, 11. Harry EVANS (15. Brian FARRELL 74), 14. Steve SOKOL, 15. Brian FARRELL, 16. Jamie MURPHY, 17. Mark BARNETT, 23. Brian WOODALL
Substitutes not used: 6. Milorad VUJACIC, 7. Hamza HINA, 21. Josiah GODFREY
Yellow cards: Evans 37, Barnett 55
Red cards: Nil