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2015 FFA Cup Matchday One Wrap

hume An exciting first round of FFA Cup action saw fans treated to extra-time football, penalties and even an own goal as each side strived to qualify for the Round of 16.

As the atmosphere at each club began to rise to fever pitch, each side began their preparations for knockout football, only the second time that the FFA Cup has been contested on Australian soil.

It was perhaps fitting that four teams who had partaken in last years event, would take on four newcomers, all with their own claim to the trophy.

Pitting Queensland vs Victoria, Victoria vs New South Wales and New South Wales against South Australia, Matchday One was a truly national representation of our national cup competition.

Palm Beach Sharks 1-1 South Melbourne (Palm Beach won 8-7 on penalties)

Despite pre-match banter and discussion about a possible Souths return to the national league, it would be Palm Beach who would effectively win an endurance test of a match. with the scores locked at 1-1 after extra time. In a true testament to cup football, the home side was clearly the second-best team in the contest, with South Melbourne dominating the midfield throughout but proving that you can have all the possession in the world, but if you don’t convert your chances you won’t win.

Much talked about former A-League hitman Milos Lujic would give the visitors the perfect start after 34 minutes with his header finding the back of the net at Cbus Super Stadium to give Souths the lead. But the 500-strong group of South Melbourne fans on tour, who made more noise than the Gold Coast United fans of yesteryear, would only be celebrating for four minutes after some sloppy play allowed Florian Matk to tie things up from the penalty spot. Lujic could’ve won it for Souths in the dying embers of the game, however he failed to get his shot on target with the game inevitably going to penalties.

Sadly for Michael Eagar, captain of South Melbourne, it would be a night to forget as he failed to convert his penalty to once again see Palm Beach Sharks make their way into the Round of 16.

Broadmeadow Magic 1-3 Heidelberg United

Heidelberg United had arguably the most erratic of preparations against Broadmeadow Magic, after goalkeeper Griffin McMaster was sensationally pulled from the starting lineup after making controversial comments regarding the Adam Goodes saga in the AFL. A quick fire double salvo from the visitors however put paid to the theory that it would be a distraction with Jack Petrie scoring an absolute bullet of a free-kick on 21 minutes before Kaine Sheppard doubled their lead three minutes later.

Daniel Heffernan would prove to put the tie beyond doubt on 37 minutes with a well placed shot however a late fightback through a Scott Pettit goal off a one-two and a disallowed long range effort from Rhys Tippett saw the home side crash out of the FFA Cup.

Blacktown City 1-2 MetroStars SC

There could only be one way to describe the MetroStars win against high flying Blacktown City, and that would be smash and grab after coming from behind in one of the surprises of the matchday. Patrick Antelmi would give the home side the lead after 34 minutes, when former Sydney FC product Mitchell Mallia put the ball on a platter for the striker and he graciously placed the ball underneath the MetroStars keeper. The visitors would have to wait until the second half to hit back however, with Jonathon Negus finding himself on the end of a floating cross into the box to equalise 59 minutes in.

Just over a quarter of an hour later though the MetroStars would claim the scalp of the NPL NSW1 league leaders when Rocky Callisto became the opportunist of the evening, sneaking a touch past the opposition goalkeeper, after great lead up play from Adam Van Dommele. Van Dommele was everywhere for the MetroStars and proved to be the difference in a heated midfield battle.

Hume City 4-3 Brisbane Strikers (After Extra Time)

In front of a parochial home crowd of nearly 1000 fans, Hume City have snatched victory from the jaws of a looming penalty shootout after an own goal in the depths of second half extra-time secured their passage through to the round of 16. It would be heartbreak again for the Brisbane Strikers who had twice led previously in the match, however the tenacity of the home side would prove to shine through. It would not be without drama however as through Hegarty and Henslee respectively the sides found themselves deadlocked with 20 seconds to play in the regulation 90 minutes.

Scot Coulson could have been forgiven for thinking he’d given the away side the victory after a nice lead up play with Clulow, the Striker found the back of the net under keeper Chris Oldfield. With hearts in mouths however, in the 92nd minute would equalise through Marcus Shroen whose bullet header sent the home side into raptures. The Strikers pressed forward in extra-time and would again lead in the 102nd minute through Coulson after a defensive mishap, but Shroen again proved to be the thorn in the side of the away side when he equalised just three minutes later.

And it would be cheers for Hume and disaster for Brisbane in injury time of the second half of extra-time as Strikers defender Henslee would go from hero to zero, deflecting the ball into his own net after Liam Newman’s zippy run into the box for Hume.

About the author

avatarKris is a freelance sports journalist, a two-time WA media guild award winner, and podcast host and writer for Ultimate A-League.

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