Big games beckoning

The semi-final clash now offers more than just an opportunity to play off in the WA cup grand final.

The grand finalists also qualify for a spot in the round of 32 of the new Australia-wide FFA Cup, similar to England’s FA Cup, where they could come up against A-League clubs.

The Jacks will head into the clash as slight underdogs after Stirling defeated them 3-1 in National Premier Leagues WA soccer action at Macedonia Park last weekend.

Ninth-placed ECU needed to be unbeaten by 10th-placed Stirling to hold its spot on the ladder, but the Lions’ win allowed them to steal the Jacks’ position.

Ryan Townsend got Joondalup off to a promising start when he headed home the opening goal of the match at 28 minutes.

But Stirling’s strong passing game got the home side back into the match with a goal just before half-time. The Lions scored twice in as many minutes early in the second half, with the visitors unable to break Stirling’s defence for the remainder of the match.

Cross-district side Sorrento also suffered a costly result, when its 1-1 tie with 11th-placed Armadale dropped it from second place to fourth.

Armadale was minutes away from an upset win at Percy Doyle Reserve, before a penalty to Sorrento in the 90th minute allowed the home side to escape with a draw.

Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell acknowledged Armadale’s effort, but said his side had missed a number of chances in conditions that were not ideal.

‘Armadale are always going to be a tough game, they’ve always been competitive and that’s been proven again,’ he told nplwa.com.au.