Goals look on the cards when Fremantle City and UWA-Nedlands meet in the State League Night Series Final at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Saturday night (7.15pm).
The two unbeaten sides have been banging them in, as was evident in their respective semi-finals.
UWA beat Division Two side Gosnells City 3-2 thanks to a late Alex Kretowicz penalty, while Fremantle squeezed past another second division outfit, Wanneroo City, 8-7 on penalties after the game ended 4-4 at full-time.
Fremantle won all four of their Group C games and sealed top spot after Alec Robinson’s brace gave them a 2-0 win against Western Knights.
Coach Marc Anthony said his players were improving with each game but admitted last week’s thriller against Wanneroo was in the balance until the end.
“We had a good group stage winning all our games and I guess winning breed’s confidence, so we will try take that into the final on Saturday,” he said.
“The game against Wanneroo could have gone either way. It was a very tight game and I thought they were excellent on the night, but we hung in there and got through.”
Anthony is expecting an equally testing encounter against UWA-Nedlands on Saturday.
“We have improved in our games in pre-season but I think there is still improvement in us,” he said.
“I’ve watched UWA-Nedlands a few times and have been very impressed on how they go about their business and I think it will be a very entertaining final for the supporters.”
UWA went through Group D undefeated and, like Fremantle, needed to win their last game to seal top spot. They duly obliged, beating Olympic Kingsway 3-1 with a Joshua Marocchi goal and a brace from Kretowicz.
UWA coach Michael Janssen said the competition has been good for his side and was happy to come through such a closely-fought semi.
“We knew Gosnells from the last year and they have had a good night series. We started very strong but we let them back into the game,” he said.
“Both teams had chances to win it late but we were happy to go through. The boys deserve to be in the final because they showed character and they were able to get back into the game when needed.
“The group stage was pleasing, even when we had our problems in delivering the game plan, but this is the nature of pre-season.
“We still have a few weeks to work on our game before the season opener but on Saturday the focus is on the final, which is very special and a historical moment for the club.
“Both finalists are unbeaten and that’s why they deserve to be there.
“Although we have a young side I expect an interesting final and hope we can deliver our best performance on Saturday.
“Fremantle are a good side and play good football. But we are looking forward to playing them and hopefully there is a big crowd and we can win our first Night Series trophy.”
Saturday, March 24
UWA-Nedlands v Fremantle City
Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium