Perth SC will fight to retain their champion status in the McInerney Ford Top Four Cup Final this weekend after their 3-0 victory over Inglewood United in last night’s Preliminary Final.
Coach Ramon Falzon believes his side deserves to be in Saturday’s final against league champions Bayswater City, after their strong performances in recent weeks.
“For some reason, like against Sorrento last week, we were slow out of the blocks, but we’ve worked extremely hard in absorbing the pressure and making sure we didn’t concede,” he said.
“So once we found our feet and we started finding the space, we capitalised and we ran out worthy winners.”
Perth midfielder Aleks Jovic had extra motivation to make the final, scoring the first of Perth’s three goals against his former side.
Jovic credited his partnership with striker Gustavo Catarcione to helping him score.
“We all really worked hard and we knew (Inglewood) would be up for it after losing (to Bayswater in the Semi Final) on Saturday, but we took our chances well and deserved the win,” he said.
“Gustavo was outstanding tonight and we worked well together. He set me up for the opener and it’s good for me to get on scoresheet to help put us into the Grand Final.
“We finished the season well and we are determined to regain our crown. We know it will be a tough game against Bayswater, but we’re ready for the challenge.”
It was the home side who opened the brighter with Chok Dau a constant threat down the right, but a stunning strike from Frank Furfaro doubled Perth’s advantage before the break.
A second-half goal from substitute Paul Zimarino secured the win for Perth.
Inglewood’s early pressure should have been rewarded when Ashley Rosindale was brought down by Nicholas Ambrogio and referee Steven Gregory pointed straight to the spot.
Brian Farrell stepped up to take the resulting penalty, put Perth keeper Francis Soale guessed the right way and saved low to his right.
Perth hit back with Lewis Milne firing wide, but Inglewood created the better chances with Dau in again on 22 minutes.
He eased past Kieran Colwell on the right, got to the bye-line and cut the ball back to Farrell, who blazed over from 10 meters.
Perth began to take control, with Jovic and Catarcione in the thick of the action, and on 28 minutes the pair combined for the opener.
Catarcione made space down the right and danced past three Inglewood defenders before crossing to Jovic who fired home.
Perth’s dominance was rewarded with a second goal four minutes from half time. Jovic was the architect this time, racing down the left and picking out Furfaro, who brought the ball back on to his left foot and rifled home.
Inglewood weren’t going down without a fight and a shot from Dau flashed inches wide before the speedy winger raced into the penalty area, but Perth skipper Adrian Madaschi got back with a superb last ditch tackle.
The result was made safe when Perth added a third on 76 minutes. Milne found space down the right and whipped in a cross, which Zimarino finished with composure.
Perth went close to a fourth late, but Colwell’s free kick crashed off the woodwork.
They now look towards Saturday when they will face Bayswater City in the fight for the Cup crown.
Inglewood United 0
Perth SC 3 (Jukic 28min, Furfaro 41, Zimarino 76)
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium, Inglewood
Referee: Steven Gregory
Assistants: Tom Dowle, Shane Skinner
Fourth official: Matthew Southern
Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 4 Scott BLACKMORE, 5 Adam TONG (20 Scott NEWLAND 63’), 8 Jason BARRERA (12 Jason PROGRI 67’), 10 Ash ROSINDALE, 15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Matthew NTOUMENOPOULOS, 17 Hamza HINA (13 Shubham MOKALA 81’), 18 Jason COLLI, 19 Chok DAU
Substitutes not used: RGK Riley STEPHENSON, 14 Griffin BESCI
Yellow cards: Tong 36’
Red cards: Nil