Inglewood United advanced past ECU Joondalup 6-5 on penalties after an astonishing Preliminary Final of The West Australian Top Four Cup, which finished 3-3 after extra time.
ECU netted twice in the five minutes before half time but the home team rallied on the arrival of Adam Tong, who scored and then won the penalty that Woodall converted in regular time.
Bayley Brown-Montgomery looked to have given the visitors a memorable win in extra-time before Woodall levelled again after Inglewood were reduced to 10 men to send the game into a shootout.
And with the clock past 11pm and 17 spot-kicks taken, it was Jason Barrera who slotted home the winning kick to put the relieved hosts into Saturday’s Grand Final against Perth.
It was a lively opening at Inglewood Stadium as Brian Woodall’s cross-shot was cleared behind for a corner and Tommy Amphlett flashed an effort wide from the edge of the area.
Michael McDougall fired a warning shot on 20 minutes, forcing Alex Dunn into a good low save from range, while at the other end Kenny Keogh and Ash Rosindale both had headed chances.
Both sides settled, though, as the half staggered towards a goalless close, before ECU Joondalup struck two late blows five minutes before the break.
First, McDougall took advantage of the time and space in front of him to fire brilliantly into the top corner from 25m.
Moments later they doubled their lead as Daryl Nicol’s in-swinging free kick was glanced into the far corner by Paddy Doyle.
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Inglewood United 3 (Tong 66mins, Woodall 77’pen, 115’)
ECU Joondalup 3 (McDougall 40’, Doyle 43’, Brown-Montgomery 104’)
Wednesday September 7, 2016