Perth SC and Perth Glory turned on the style last Saturday. Photo by Tom McCarthy/@tom_mc_c
Top Four Cup Final could be a classic
Sep 07, 2018
Football West News
Perth SC and Perth Glory, the two best teams in the National Premier Leagues WA, will bring down the curtain on the top flight season when they clash in the final of the McInerney Ford Top Four Cup on Saturday afternoon.
The Azzurri completed an incredible title win two weeks ago, getting up on the final day to deny long-time leaders Glory a first NPL championship.
The failure to complete the job was painful for John Gibson and his side. But they showed their character last Saturday by dusting themselves down to beat Perth SC on penalties and qualify directly for this weekend’s showpiece game.
Now the teams get to duke it out again, this time at Frank Drago Reserve, with Glory desperate to break their silverware drought and Perth SC out to extend their 70th anniversary celebrations by completing the double.
“I expect a similar game to last Saturday, which I thought was one of the best games I’ve seen this year,” Perth SC coach Ramon Falzon said.
“Intensity was really high, it was fast paced from both teams, a lot of good decisions on the ball, so I honestly expect a similarly good game this Saturday.”
Glory have had the luxury of having all week to prepare for the final. However Perth SC were pushed all the way again in midweek, needing an injury-time winner to see off Cockburn City in the Top Four Cup Preliminary Final.
Does Falzon believe this will be a factor on Saturday?
“If the game will be limited to 90 minutes I don’t think so. If it will go beyond 90 minutes, if we have to play extra time, we will definitely feel it,” he said.
One man watching on at Dorrien Gardens on Tuesday and hoping for extra time was Glory coach Gibson.
He said: “Yes, I was at the game. It was a bit of a windy and blustery night, another very exciting night in the Top Four series … I was wishing for it to go to extra time, obviously, but that didn’t eventuate.
“But Perth are a tough side, they’ve been that way all year … it’s going to be a hell of a game.”
Gibson agreed that it was ideal for his players to face the new champions last week so soon after blowing the title.
He said: “Yes, guaranteed. It wasn’t about redemption for us, it was about ourselves and our processes and getting back on board.
“But it was a fantastic display by the boys in terms of their character and their resilience, which we never question but it was great to see them perform after the heartbreak and the disappointment of the week previously.
“I thought they were tremendous last week and it was quite an entertaining game and hopefully more to look forward to on Saturday.
“It’s a great time of the year to be playing – it’s the first time we’ve been involved in the Top Four series and it’s a really important time in WA football, the Top Four.”
Saturday’s McInerney Ford Top Four Cup Final Day begins at 10am with the Under 18 Final between hosts Bayswater City and Glory.
This will be followed by the Under 20 Final between ECU Joondalup and Perth SC at 12.15pm, before the big Glory-Perth SC game at 3pm.
Fixtures Saturday, September 8
McInerney Ford Top Four Cup (Frank Drago Reserve)
Under 18 Final: Bayswater City v Perth Glory (10am)
Under 20 Final: ECU Joondalup v Perth SC (12.15pm)