Uni booked a place in their first ever Night Series Final following an enthralling 3-2 semi-final win over Gosnells City on Saturday night.
It was a scrappy opening to the match, with both sides relinquishing possession frequently as they looked to get a footing in the encounter.
UWA took advantage of the open and frantic nature of play by opening the scoring after only 15 minutes. Conor Devlin’s superbly disguised through-ball into the area found Luke Randazzo, with the former Inglewood United midfielder showing great composure to finish with the outside of his boot.
It was 2-0 not long after, with Alex Kretowicz continuing his rich vein of form. The rapid counter-attack down the left-wing saw the striker open his body and curl home a quality shot into the back of the net.
Despite the disparity on the scoresheet, Gosnells remained firmly in the contest with the midfield causing plenty of issues.
Their persistence paid off on the stroke of half-time, as they earned a way back into the semi through a thunderous strike from outside the area following a corner the UWA defence failed to deal with. The goal made it 2-1 at the break and set up an exciting second stanza.
Gosnells continued their momentum and swiftly levelled the ledger following a horror moment at the back. A long-ball into the defensive area caused confusion with the keeper and ultimately allowed the Gosnells striker the simplest of finishes.
Following the equaliser, both sides pushed hard for a winner, with substitute Zeke McPherson causing havoc in the altered formation, but the Gosnells defence was holding firm.
Just as it seemed UWA were the more likely to sneak a late goal, Gosnells broke on the counter-attack and looked to grab the win with a tap-in at the back post, but Sam Carrello had other ideas. The veteran defender placed himself perfectly to stop the ball on the goal-line with his chest to ensure it remained 2-2.
Carrello’s heroics proved crucial, with Kretowicz sealing a dramatic 3-2 win from the penalty spot moments later with just five minutes remaining of regular time remaining.
Bryce Conway’s through-ball from the right-wing found McPherson on the edge of the area, with the forward cutting inside the box and being brought down under the challenge of the Gosnells skipper.
The contentious decision stood despite the protests and Kretowicz held his nerve to bury home the spot-kick into the top-right corner.
Credit to everyone at Gosnells City Football Club on a cracking match and a fantastic Night Series campaign. All of us at UWA would like to wish them all the very best for the upcoming season.
UWA will face Fremantle City in the Final of the Night Series this Saturday from 7:15 PM at Inglewood Stadium. Fremantle advanced to the final following a penalty-shoot out win over Wanneroo with the scores locked at 4-4 after 90 minutes.