GUSTAVO Catarcione’s late header won Top Four Cup for Perth Soccer Club as they completed a National Premier Leagues WA double with a 1-0 win over Inglewood United at Dorrien Gardens.
Catarcione’s header came seven minutes from time and somewhat against the run of play as Inglewood had the better of the second half chances following a scratchy first half.
Perth skipper Clark Keltie was delighted to lift the trophy having led a relatively young squad to the league title and Top Four Cup success.
“It’s unbelievable to be honest,” he said.
“The boys have proved time and time again that they’re capable of getting the result and over the course of the season I think we’ve deserved that.
“The young boys are honest and have listened to what they’ve been told all season and held their own against a more experienced, hardened side by keeping their shape and sticking to the game plan.”
Perth coach Ramon Falzon, who took over following the departure of Gareth Naven mid-season, admitted his side weathered a storm at times but was not surprised with the resilience they showed.
“It was very similar to last week (in the major semi-final) when Inglewood pushed on us in the second half,” he said.
“But we’ve absorbed pressure well throughout the season and clean sheets are a fundamental part of the game.”
Jason Barerra, who was awarded the Gary Marocchi Medal as the man of the match, had a volley blocked as Inglewood pushed Perth in the second half but the home side struck with seven minutes left.
Harley Orr swung in a terrific cross from the left and Catarcione got in between two defenders to rise and head expertly into the far corner.
Inglewood coach Taki Nicolaidis was proud of his players and believed his side did not get rewarded for their efforts.
“I thought we were fantastic,” he said.
“To play two lots of 120 minutes and penalties and then to play fantastic football, have the better chances and do everything but score, I couldn’t be prouder of our guys.
“The way we were playing I was pretty comfortable but we had one loss of concentration on the counter-attack… it’s pretty hard to take at the minute.”
In the Under-20 Top Four Cup final, Bayswater City proved too good for Armadale with goals from David Stokoe and Luka Ninkovic – and an own goal – helping them to a 3-0 win.
Perth Glory claimed the Under-18 Cup with a 4-0 win over Stirling Lions.
Adam Zimarino opened the scoring five minutes into the second half, Ethan Brooks doubled the advantage and Liam Murray and Abias Bukuru added gloss to the score.