WA FFA Cup Wrap

The NPL took a break this weekend at the midway point of the season. However, there were still three top-tier teams in action as the WA edition of the FFA Cup reached the semi-final stage.

League-leaders Bayswater City were the favourites going into their clash with Sorrento however the Gulls fought tooth and nail and then held their nerve in penalties to send Bayswater out. Meanwhile, Perth SC were also favourites against Sunday League side Gwelup Croatia but they were pushed all the way in an end-to-end game featuring goals, a sending off and late drama.

Bayswater City 1 (Heagney 60’)
Sorrento 1 (Salter 2’)
(1-1 AET, Sorrento won 4-2 on penalties)
Frank Drago Reserve
Sorrento shocked the highly-favoured Bayswater City to progress to the final and win a spot in the national draw of the FFA Cup. Fans were still taking their seats when Jack Salter gave Sorrento an unlikely lead inside the opening two minutes. What followed was a dour contest as the hosts struggled to find their way back into the game. Sorrento held firm until half time but on the hour mark David Heagney headed home to equalize for Bayswater. The game continued to be devoid of opportunities and it was no surprise when extra-time was needed to separate the two teams. Extra time also proved to be a torrid affair so it was off to penalties to decide the winner. Sorrento held their nerve and ‘keeper James Morgan made two good saves to send the league-leaders crashing out of the cup.

Perth SC 4 (Pritchard 4’, Evans 38’, 45’, Vittiglia 81’)
Gwelup Croatia 3 (Tatiscore 17’, 49’, Kouakou 27’)
Dorrien Gardens

A ten-man Perth side came from behind to see off a challenge from underdogs Gwelup Croatia to prevail 4-3 in an epic encounter at Dorrien Gardens. Mark Pritchard got the home side off to an excellent start after just four minutes when he finished off some good work from Nic Ambrogio and Aden Da Luz. However, anyone who thought Gwelup would roll over were very much mistaken and Nicolas Tatiscore pounced on an error from goalkeeper Francis Soale to draw level. The goal scorer then turned provider, feeding up Benjamin Kouakou to fire home and give the visitors an unlikely lead. Perth responded through Dean Evans, who combined well with Ambrogio to equalize, before Evans put his team in front after meeting Pritchard’s cross at the back post. Down a goal at half time, the Croats came out swinging and within five minutes they were back on level terms when Tatiscore found space in the area and his stinging shot beat Soale.

As the weather worsened and the teams battled through heavy rainfall, Perth’s hopes took a turn for the worse when captain Clark Keltie was dismissed for a second yellow card. Jake Verini and Tatiscore came close to putting Gwelup ahead but nine minutes from time Perth substitute Reece Vittiglia danced his way into the area and placed a shot beyond the despairing Tom Dixon. The visitors pressed desperately in search of an equalizer but Perth held on to seal their place in the final.

The NPL will resume next weekend.

Round 12 Fixtures
Cockburn City vs Inglewood United
ECU Joondalup vs Perth SC
Balcatta vs Stirling Lions
Sorrento vs Armadale
Subiaco vs Bayswater City
Perth Glory vs Floreat Athena

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