PERTH Glory and Perth SC will meet each other for the third time in as many weeks after the latter accounted for Cockburn City 2-1 in Tuesday night’s Top Four Cup preliminary final.
After they both played high scoring games in the first round of the cup, Perth SC and Cockburn played out an arm wrestle in the opening 45 minutes with neither team able to score before halftime.
Perth got the jump first in the second half when Matthew Milenkovic sent a low shot into the bottom corner of the net to send his team 1-0 up, but Cockburn were able to scrape one back in the 89th minute courtesy of Chris Thackray.
The game looked like going into extra time until Perth’s Nicholas Ambrogio broke the hearts of Cockburn fans and sent his own into raptures with a goal two minutes into injury time.
Perth coach Ramon Falzon said he was delighted for his players, who fought until the final whistle.
“Very happy to make our third consecutive grand final in three years,” he said.
“I’m always pushing our boys to absorb the characteristic of resilience, to keep fighting until the last second of the game.”
Cockburn’s Scott Miller said tiredness played a part in the finale after playing 120 minutes against Bayswater on Saturday night.
“The boys just showed a lot of heart,” he said.
“They just kept going and going and got the equaliser and then I thought we just ran out of gas.
“Getting that goal I think they sort of switched off, and it was a great goal by Nicky [Ambrogio] to win it.”
Perth Glory and Perth SC will meet in the Top Four Cup final at Frank Drago Reserve, Bayswater from 3pm September 8.