Glory clinch Final spot with shootout triumph

The PGFC Academy First Team will play in the 2018 McInerney Ford Top Four Cup Grand Final next weekend after a dramatic penalty shoot-out semi-final final over Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens.

In a game that ebbed and flowed throughout, Chok Dau cancelled out Paul Zimarino's early opener for the hosts and after Matthew Milenkovic restored Perth's lead early in the second half, Michael Domfeh struck right at the death to send the contest into extra time.

The big striker then put Glory in front for the first time with his second goal of the afternoon, only for Zimarino to complete his own brace in the final minute of extra-time to ensure that penalties would be required to separate the sides.

And it was Jackson Lee who proved to be Glory's hero in the shootout, producing two fine saves as the visitors ran out 4-2 winners.

NPL - semi final goalmouth action

Having seen his charges have the title snatched from their grasp last weekend, Head Coach John Gibson was understandably thrilled by the victory.

“It was a fascinating day," he said. "What a game of football! It had everything today and I’m really happy for the group, particularly after last week’s heartbreak.

"To come back from going behind twice, that's just what we do. This group is tough and always displays resilience plus character.  We were really disappointed with ourselves for not managing the game at the start and also the last few minutes of extra-time, but during extra-time, the group was calm and focused.

"We as a group were very disappointed with our performance-against Subiaco the previous week, but we remained positive and focused and now we're looking forward to playing in our first Top Four Finals series.

"It’s a nice challenge and a good time of the year to be playing football."

Gibson made four changes to the side that lost to Subiaco last week in the final league game of the season, Sam Riak coming in for the injured Luke Bodnar, Walter Scott returning in place of Nic McDonald who dropped to the bench and Jack Leech and Michael Domfeh slotting in for suspended duo Callum Timmins and Bayley Brown-Montgomery respectively.  

It was the hosts who started the brighter and it was no surprise that they hit the front on 13 minutes. Zimarino was given too much room on the edge of the penalty area and his superb curling effort gave Lee no chance.

The youngsters gradually picked the tempo up, however and restored parity on 37 minutes when Dau converted a fine assist from Domfeh.

The momentum then swung back Perth's way again as the lively Milenkovic restored their lead shortly after the restart and it looked as if that goal would be enough to send Ramon Falzon's men into the Final.
 

NPL - Jackson Lee in mid-air


But Gibson’s side had other ideas and in the very last minute, Domfeh rose highest to meet a Henry Hore corner and found the net with a thumping header. 

It was Glory who made the breakthrough in the first period of extra time and it was that man Domfeh again with the goal. Substitute Aiden Edwards picked him out him in the box and he held off his marker before curling home, much to the delight of the Glory supporters in the crowd.

And yet there was to be another twist as Milkenovic teed up Zimarino to make it 3-3 and force the game to a shootout.

Hore and Domfeh both converted their penalties, as did Perth duo Harley Orr and Nick Ambrogio, but Gomo Dukuly’s third spot kick was well saved by Francis Soale to give Perth the advantage.

Lee, however, then produced a great save to block Milenkovic’s third effort, before Scott celebrated his call up to the Young Socceroos squad by burying the fourth.

NPL - Jackson Lee penalty save


And when Lee duly produced another fine save to thwart Adrian Madaschi, it was left to Dau to convert and send Glory through, prompting wild celebrations on the pitch.

 Glory's Under-18s and Under-20s, meanwhile, were also in Top Four Cup action on Saturday and unfortunately both suffered defeats.

The Under-18s were edged out 1-0 by Bayswater City and now face a do-or-die elimination semi-final against Perth SC on Wednesday evening, while the Under-20s' season is over after they went down 3-1, also to Bayswater.

Match Details

Perth SC 3 (Zimarino 13', 119', Milenkovic 50')
Perth Glory 3 (Dau 37', Domfeh 89', 102')
(Perth Glory won 4-2 on penalties)
Saturday, September 1
Dorrien Gardens
Kick-off: 3pm

Referee: Michal Jasinski

Assistants: Josh Mannella and Shane Skinner

Fourth Official: Adam Fiedling

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 2 Alex SILLA, 5 Niccolo SABATINI (10 Nicholas AMBROGIO 83’), 6 Harley ORR, 8 Tom KING (4 Adrian MADASCHI 116’), 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE (7 Aleks JOVIC 96’), 11 Matthew MILENKOVIC, 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 14 Kristan SANTICH, 20 Paul ZIMARINO

Substitutes not used: RGK Malek KUC, 16 Kieran COLWELL
Yellow cards: Orr 59’, Silla 97’

Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 3 Sam RIAK, 4 Daniel WALSH, 5 Walter SCOTT, 6 Jack LEECH (12 Aiden EDWARDS 85’), 7 Chok DAU, 8 Henry HORE, 9 Michael DOMFEH, 10 Michael MCDOUGALL (13 Gomo DUKULY 79’), 11 Yacoub MUSTAFA, 16 Zayd FARAH

Substitutes not used: RGK Nicholas SPECA, 14 Nic MCDONALD, 15 Jordan ABRAHAMS
Yellow cards: Farah 90’, Lee 115’

Photos courtesy of Tom McCarthy

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