Round 22: Hat-trick from Morgan as Gulls beat the Champions
Perth SC 2 v 3 Sorrento FC
Report by Coen Vass
Alex Morgan scored a first half hat-trick as Sorrento edged out champions Perth SC 3-2 at Dorrien Gardens.
The one bright spot for Perth was Michael Domfeh’s late strike which brought him his 15th goal of the season and allowed him to pip Bayswater City’s Daryl Nicol to the Golden Boot.
Both sides were playing for pride in the final round of league matches, with Perth already claiming the NPL WA title and the Gulls out of contention to make the Top Four Cup.
Possibly with one eye on the upcoming post-season competition, Perth were without Mathew Milenkovic, Jordan De Leo, Thomas Southgate and captain Francis Soale and as a result were slow out of the blocks.
Sorrento were also missing a key man, suspended top scorer Cameron Teece, but Alex Morgan filled the striking void in style.
It was Alex Morgan who opened the scoring in the 17th minute after receiving a long diagonal ball from Tim Hill before dinking it past Dejan Alexic.
Sorrento doubled their advantage just nine minutes later. Scott Witschge showed great vision to put a ball out in front of Alex Morgan, who chipped over Alexic to make it 2-0.
It was all too easy for the Sorrento forward as Alexic and his defenders struggled to cope with simple, direct balls. That was the case again when Reece Vittiglia pounced on a stray pass before sending Morgan clear and he waltzed through to claim his third.
This was the second week in succession that Perth had conceded three goals – in the previous 20 matches they had let in only 15.
It was no surprise that coach Ramon Falzon turned to his bench after the break and Paul Zimarino had an immediate impact, dribbling through before firing past keeper James Morgan to make it 3-1 with 13 minutes left.
And another substitute Aleksandar Jovic produced some great build-up play before the ball was crossed for Domfeh to tap home Perth’s second.
The goal was enough to clinch Domfeh the Golden Boot and he said: “On a personal note it means a lot to me … three or four years ago I was playing Armadale 18s so I feel I have come a long way.
“But the most important thing is the team achievements. Winning the league (is something) I missed out on by 15 minutes last year (with Perth Glory), so winning the league really meant the most to me. But this is a nice sidenote.”
As for hat-trick man Alex Morgan, he was left to reflect on what might have been. “It’s bitter-sweet, obviously we didn’t make the top four but it’s good to get a hat-trick.”
The Gulls finished their 2019 campaign in sixth place on the NPL standing, snapping a five-game losing streak with Perth dating back to Round Seven in 2017.
Domfeh’s individual achievement notwithstanding, it was a low key way to finish an excellent league campaign for Perth who will now look to retain their Top Four Cup. First up they will face Inglewood at home with a place in the final at stake.
Star player: Alex Morgan (Sorrento)
Perth SC 2 (Zimarino 77, Domfeh 88)
Sorrento 3 (A Morgan 17 26 40)
Saturday, August 31, 2019
Referee: Michal Jasinski
Assistant referees: Arvin Shanmuganathan, Harry Bolan
Perth SC: (GK) 23. Dejan ALEKSIC, 2. Alex SILLA, 3. Andreas THEODOSIADES (15. Jawad REZAI 87), 5. Niccolo SABATINI, 6. Harley ORR, 9. Gustavo CATARCIONE (7. Aleksandar Jovic 82), 13. Rocco PIZZATA, 14. Kristian SANTICH (20. Paul ZIMARINO 75), 16. Kieran COLWELL, 18. Michael DOMFEH, 19. Bojan RADINOVIC
Unused substitutes: (RGK) 1. Adrian SINAGRA, 21. Nicholas MESSINA
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Sorrento: (GK) 1. James MORGAN, 2. David STOKOE, 3. Jakub PRAJZA, 5. Scott ROBERTSON, 7. Alex MORGAN, 8. Scott WITSCHGE (19. Jack SALTER 75), 11. Timothy HILL, 17. Reece VITTIGLIA, 20. Jaxon TEMATA (10. Jordan ROBERTS 72), 30. Jesse OWOUR (18. Jordan BROWN 75), 32. Tristan STEVENS
Unused substitutes: 16. Daniel PEARCE, (RGK) 61. Matthew GIUDICATTI
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil