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Sep 13, 2021   |  12:36PM AET

Strong finish sees PGFC Academy First Team progress in Top Four Cup

Strong finish sees PGFC Academy First Team progress in Top Four Cup

The PGFC Academy First Team are just one game away from a Top Four Cup Final appearance after securing a 3-1 extra-time victory over Sorrento in Saturday’s Major Semi-Final clash at Percy Doyle Reserve.

Ruben Zadkovich’s side found themselves trailing in the first-half to a Chris Jackson goal, but hit back shortly before the break when Josh Anasmo found the net from close range.

A goalless second half meant extra-time was required and Glory quickly too control in the opening period, Charlie Leech heading them in front and Adam Zimarino making it 3-1 eight minutes later.

The final action of a keenly-contested clash saw Jackson dismissed following a flare-up in the Glory box.

The victory means that the Academy First Team will now battle it out with Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium in Tuesday evening’s Elimination Final (kick-off at 7pm) for the right to take on Perth SC in Saturday’s Top Four Cup Final.

The youngsters will head into that huge clash in confident mood having overcome the tricky challenge of facing a physical and direct Sorrento side on a bumpy pitch in windy conditions.

It was the Gulls who looked the livelier in the early stages, with Cameron Cook forced into action to block a cross-shot from Jackson as it flashed across the face of goal.

And Jackson duly went one better in the 34th minute, drilling home a low shot after the Glory defence had failed to clear a long throw.

Within six minutes, however, the visitors drew level as home ‘keeper Connor Campbell was unable to hold Zimarino’s strike and Anasmo pounced to force home the loose ball.

Sorrento began the second half as brightly as they had the first, Jordan Brown heading a deep cross against the crossbar and Cook then producing a fine save to tip Alex Morgan’s dipping effort over.

The game continued to open up as the half wore on, Cook again going full-length to push a header from Jackson around the post and Glory skipper Giordano Colli forcing a similarly acrobatic save from Campbell with a free-kick at the other end.

A superb last-ditch tackle from Jacob Muir prevented substitute Scott Witschge from racing clear on goal in the 90th minute, but once the extra half-hour began, the men in purple wasted no time in taking the game away from the hosts.

Three minutes in, Leech continued his superb late-season form by nodding home and four minutes before the break, Zimarino found a pocket of space in the box and picked out the corner of the net.

Glory’s win means that the club could potentially have two teams involved in Saturday’s Top Four Finals day at Dorrien Gardens, with the Under-20s also facing Floreat Athena in an Elimination Final at Forrestifeld’s Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park at 6pm on Wednesday.

Chris Coyne’s side have a second bite of the cherry after going down 3-1 to Bayswater City on Saturday, but the season is over for the Under-18s who suffered a heartbreaking 3-1 penalty shootout defeat to Perth SC having fought out a 0-0 draw over 90 minutes.

Match Details

Sorrento FC 1 (Jackson 34′) Perth Glory 3 (Anasmo 40′, Leech 93′, Zimarino 101′)

(After Extra-Time)

Half-time: 1-1

Referee: Shane Skinner

Sorrento FC: 1.Connor CAMPBELL (GK), 2.David STOKOE, 4.Shaun KILKELLY (C) (19.Jaxon TEMATA 106′), 6.Chris JACKSON, 7.Alex MORGAN, 10.Ollie ANNIS (14.Jordan POKLER 102′), 11.Tim HILL (3.Daniel FAICHNEY 102′), 15.Tristan STEVENS, 17.Dean CUMMINGS, 18.Jordan BROWN, 20.Jordan ROBERTS (8.Scott WITSCHGE 69′)

Substitutes not used: 60.Matthew GIUDICATTI (GK)

Yellow Cards: Morgan, Stevens, Hill, Cummings

Red Cards: Jackson

PGFC Academy First Team: 30.Cameron COOK (GK), 3.Jacob MUIR, 4.Aidan COYNE, 5.Joseph FORDE, 6.Chris DONNELL, 7.Charlie LEECH, 9.Ciaran BRAMWELL (18.Tyler VECCHIO 90′), 10.Giordano COLLI (C), 11.Adam ZIMARINO (8.Aidan EDWARDS 103′), 17.Josh ANASMO (15.Joel ANASMO 108′), 22.Jack PAINTER-ANDREWS (12.Will FORMSTON 90′)

Substitutes not used: 1.Sam REILLY (gk)

Yellow Cards: Zimarino, Edwards

Red Cards: None

(picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)