The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have been knocked out of the 2015 Westfield FFA Cup after going down to Perth Glory 4-2 on penalties in their Quarter Final match at Dorrien Gardens.
The score was locked at 1-1 at the end of extra time after Perth’s Nebojsa Marinkovic’s 60th minute strike had cancelled out Wanderers midfielder Dimas’ first-half goal.
Perth converted all four of their spot-kicks in the resulting shootout, while misses from Federico Piovaccari and Scott Jamieson meant that the Wanderers’ 2015 Westfield FFA Cup adventure would not progress into the semi-finals.
The match opened with both sides looking cautious on what was a thick and bumpy pitch in West Perth.
Andrew Redmayne was the first keeper to be tested, diving well to the right to keep out Marinkovic’s low drive.
Mitch Nichols started against his former club and the attacking midfielder went close to scoring, sending a well-timed volley just wide of Ante Covic’s post.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between in the first stanza until two of the Wanderers’ new off-season recruits combined to break the deadlock.
Nichols did well to dart to the byline and cut the ball back along the six-yard-box, where a sliding Dimas was able to prod home for his second Westfield FFA Cup goal.
The Wanderers started the second-half firmly on the front foot and could’ve had a second if not for a double save from Covic – the Perth shot-stopper doing well to deny Nichols and Sotirio in quick succession.
Though it was the Glory who would find the net next, albeit in some controversial circumstances.
Marinkovic struck from outside the box on the hour mark, only for the linesman to rule it out for a supposed offside.
However, after some deliberation with his assistants, the referee overturned the decision and awarded Glory the goal.
The equaliser seemed to take the wind out of the Wanderers’ sails as Perth wrestled their way back into the match.
The match entered extra-time after neither side could find a second goal in the 90 minutes.
Former Wanderer Antony Golec went closest to netting a winner in extra-time, the defender volleying just over the bar from a corner.
Perth came into the penalty shoot-out with more momentum and it showed, as the Glory tucked away all four of their spot-kicks, while Piovaccari and Jamieson missed the target for the Wanderers.
The Red & Black now turn their attention to next Thursday’s Hyundai A-League opener against Brisbane Roar at Pirtek Stadium.
Perth Glory 1 (Marinkovic 60’),
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Dimas 42’)
1-1 AET, 4-2 on penalties.
Venue: Dorrien Gardens
Western Sydney Wanderers: Andrew Redmayne (GK), Scott Neville, Alberto, Nikolai Topor-Stanley (C), Scott Jamieson, Jacob Pepper, Dimas (Andreu 77’), Jaushua Sotirio (Dario Vidosic 105’), Mitch Nichols, Romeo Castelen (Josh Macdonald 81’), Federico Piovaccari