Perth SC have advanced to the next stage of the PlayStation 4 NPL 2016 Finals Series after a convincing 6-1 win over Tasmanian champions Devonport Strikers at E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday night.
Braces to Matthew Milenkovic and Gustavo Catarcione highlighted a largely one-sided contest and while Devonport pulled one back midway through the second period, late goals to Clark Keltie and Andreas Theodosiades sealed a convincing victory.
After claiming the league title and The West Australian Top Four Cup in recent weeks, Perth's Ramon Falzon said his side went into the match full of confidence.
“Thursday we had worked a lot tactically because we had some good information on Devenport, so a big well done to the boys, they deserved it,” he said.
Looking forward to next week's match, Falzon said he is pleased his side will not have to travel.
“Others will travel, not us, so from our side we'll just keep to our preparations as usual.”
Perth had the better of possession in the early stages and had several lengthy stints in their attacking third before opening their account on 10 minutes.
Milenkovic delivered in a precision corner and found Gustavo Catarcione, who headed home to the elation of the home fans.
It was Milenkovic who doubled the tally in the 22nd minute when he got past his marker on the right and fired home emphatically past Thomas Pearce.
Devonport had their first sniff at goal minutes later when Brayden Mann got ahead of the Perth defence and struck a shot which beat Francis Soale and rebounded off the upright.
Milenkovic claimed his second and his side's third on the half-hour when he chipped it over Pearce and raced forward to tap home.
The visitors had another chance to pull one back in the 43rd minute when Joel Stone's cross in from the left found Beau Blizzard unmarked in the area but his header went inches over the bar.
Catarcione showed his individual class when he claimed his second in the 55th minute, weaving through the entire Devonport defence before slotting home low to make it 4-0.
Harley Orr gave Catarcione a golden hat-trick opportunity in the 67th when he sent the Brazillian striker through on goal but he fired narrowly wide.
Devonport pulled one back in the 69th minute through Mann, when he got to Soale's parried save first and slotted home to give the travelling fans something to smile about.
That proved only to be a consolation as Keltie and substitute Theodosiades rounded out the interstate demolition with a goal each late on.
Devonport's Peter Savill said he is disappointed for his side to finish the season with a loss but took some positives out of the match.
“We've lost our last two to finish the season so we're obviously disappointed,” he said. “But the lads have had a great year and I'm sure they'll have a few beers tonight.”
The result sees Perth progress to the next stage of the finals series where they will face Northern New South Wales champions Edgeworth, with the full details yet to be confirmed.
Perth SC 6 (Catarcione 10, 55, Milenkovic 21, 30, Keltie 85, Theodosiades 90+3)
Devonport Strikers 1 (Mann 69)
Saturday, September 17, 2016
E & D Litis Stadium