A goal in each half ensured Sorrento beat Wanneroo City 2-0 to progress to last four in the Westfield FFA Cup Western Australia preliminary rounds.
Alex Morgan scored for the visitors inside four minutes and they never looked back, despite a strong penalty appeal and a disallowed goal for Wanneroo.
Reece Vittiglia’s terrific finish just past the hour mark sealed it for the Gulls, as they aim for a second round of 32 appearance in three years.
Coach Jamie Harnwell says the team are itching to return to that stage.
“I’ve seen enough upsets in my career to know that whoever we draw in the next round will not be an easy game,” he said.
“For the boys who were there against Sydney FC (in 2015), they know the occasion and the experience and they wanted to be back doing that again.
“We have to get there first and then we aim to be the first WA team to progress past the round of 32.”
Harnwell also admitted the early goal was crucial to helping Sorrento on their way.
“We got off to a good start and let Wanneroo back into the game, but credit to them they had a red hot go and were probably unlucky not to be level,” he said.
“The early goal will always alter the way a team plays. We thought they would sit back and be hard to break down, so to score that goal meant at some stage they’d have to open up to get back into it.”
That goal came after just three minutes as Vittiglia squeezed out a cross and Morgan was on hand at the back post to side-foot past Joey Smith.
The visitors didn’t capitalise on that, though, and should have extended their lead twice as Morgan and Vittiglia both put good chances wide.
Wanneroo’s best chance of the half fell to Jack Hailstones who broke down the right flank but flashed an effort beyond the far post.
The hosts improved further after the break and had a shout for a penalty when the ball seemingly struck the arm of a Sorrento defender in the area.
Moments later, they had a goal disallowed when Kye Douglas rose at the far stick to head home, only for it to be ruled out with the referee having spotted an infringement.
It proved a pivotal moment as Sorrento went up the other end and doubled their lead in spectacular fashion, as Vittiglia showed wonderful chest control before hooking in the ball via the underside of the bar.
The home side twice came close to pulling one back late on as Morgan tipped Matt Franken’s drive wide before beating away Hailstones’ free-kick.
Wanneroo assistant coach Brad Hayward said there was still plenty the club could take from the cup run despite the defeat.
“It’s a shame because we had a game plan to go out and attack, but the early goal made us change the way we were playing and it took us a while to get our composure back,” he said.
“But for a Division One side like us to perform well against a top NPL side, it’s still a good result for the club.
“For us, it’s about being the best we can be against the best opposition, and playing against teams like Sorrento is where we want to be.”
Wanneroo City 0
Sorrento 2 (Alex Morgan 4min, Vittiglia 63)
Saturday May 20, 2017
Kingsway Sporting Complex
Local kick-off: 2:30pm
Referee: David Bruce
Wanneroo City: GK. Joey SMITH, 2. Scott JOHNSTONE, 4. Liam MOONEY, 5. Stuart SIDDELL, 6. Miteku AYENE (11. Flynn NOLAN 76’), 7. Jack HAILSTONES, 8. Nathan GROSTATE (23. Josh CHIVELL 64’), 9. Joel GILLESPIE (10. John MCNEIL 76’), 12. Brett CUTTING, 14. Matt FRANKEN, 18. Kye DOUGLAS.
Substitutes not used: 13. Jordan BEIL, 3. Jesse BRIDGEMAN