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2015 FFA Cup Matchday Three Wrap

RockdaleCSFor the second night running, it was a goal-fest in the FFA Cup with Matchday Three living up to expectations. All in all, like it was on Matchday Two, sixteen goals were scored on Wednesday night, with seven finding the back of the net just in the clash between Darwin Olympic and Adelaide United in the Northern Territory.

Elsewhere, Sydney travelled to Perth to take on Sorrento FC, NPL-NSW side Rockdale City Suns hosted NPL-WA team Perth SC, and Adelaide’s Croydon Kings played host to Brisbane-based Lions FC.

Sorrento FC 0-2 Sydney FC

It may not be Sorrento FC’s home ground, but the side from Perth would’ve felt right at home at nib Stadium on Wednesday night, with a healthy crowd turning up to see one of Western Australia’s top club sides take on last season’s A-League Runners Up. Graham Arnold sent out a young lineup for Sydney, with Riley Woodcock, Andrew Hoole and Chris Naumoff all starting for the Sky Blues.

Unfortuantely for Sorrento, their dream debut in the Cup would turn sour after just 2 minutes, when Robert Stambolziev was brought down in the penalty area by a sloppy Lewis Hall tackle. Stand-in captain Shane Smeltz took on the responsibility and made no mistake, placing the ball into the bottom corner to give the visitors an early 1-0 lead.

Minutes later, and it could’ve been 2-0 to Sydney, if not for a reflex save by James Morgan at his near post.

In a physical opening half, Sydney controlled almost 80% of possession but couldn’t find a way past the Sorrento defence from open play. Brandon O’Neill went close from distance in the 25th minute, but Morgan was up to the task to tip the ball up and over the bar for a corner.

After the break, and Sydney were given another penalty, and again it was Stambolziev who earned the spot kick for his side. A cross from Smeltz was palmed away by Morgan into space, with Stambolziev narrowly beating Todd Harnwell to the ball. Referee Adam Fielding had no hesitation in awarding the penalty, but on this occasion it would be Morgan who would get the better of Smeltz, diving to his right to deny the Kiwi.

Sorrento started to find their feet, and enjoyed a few half chances at goal — though rarely threatening Vedran Janjetovic’s goal.

The game would be all but over minutes afterward, though, when substitute Max Burgess doubled Sydney’s lead, firing low and hard — from the left side of the area — past the outstretched hand of Morgan.

Darwin Olympic 1-6 Adelaide United

In front of a healthy crowd in the Northern Territory capital, Darwin Olympic would make history as the first team from the Northern Territory to compete in the round of 32 in the FFA Cup. They would be up against it, however, as they faced the reigning FFA Cup Champions. New Adelaide head coach Guillermo Amor put out an almost full-strength squad, whilst Darwin started former Melbourne Knight Billy Kathopoulis.

Darwin started strongly, with Michael Tsounias causing headaches for the Adelaide defence on multiple occasions. However, it would be Adelaide who would predictably take the lead in the 18th minute, when Osama Malik was brought down in the box. Marcelo Carrusca stepped up and slotted home the opener past Darwin ‘keeper Kane McAdam.

Less than a minute later, and Darwin would have a well-deserved equaliser. A fantastic through ball split the Adelaide defence, allowing Tsounias to slide the ball home under Eugene Galekovic to tie the clash up at 1-1.

Before the half was out, though, Adelaide would add a quickfire brace. In the 38th minute, a cross from the right win by Michael Marrone found the under-pressure Jimmy Jeggo, who headed home strongly. Thirty seconds later, and with his foot this time, Jeggo would add another, making the margin 3-1 to Adelaide at the break.

Adelaide made it 4-1 in the 78th minute, and ensured they would advance to the final 16 of the competition. Marcelo Carrusca passed inboard to Sergio Cirio, who pivoted inside onto his right boot before unleashing a wicked shot into the top corner past a helpless McAdam in the Olympic goal.

New signing Eli Babalj would make it five for the Reds just minutes later, when he toe poked the ball home after receiving a low cross from Craig Goodwin on the left flank. Then as soon as it was five, it was six for Adelaide — Pablo Sanchez scoring with the easiest of finishes, following some good lead-up work by both Goodwin and Cirio.

Rockdale City Suns 3-1 Perth SC

Rockdale City Suns had the home field advantage in this clash, and with a plethora of former A-League players in the squad (including captain-coach Paul Reid, Alec Urosevski, Dylan Macallister, Marko Jesic and Ivan Necevski), they were highly favoured to advance to the round of 16.

By half time, that would be all but assured, as Rockdale stormed to a commanding 2-0 lead. The opening goal came after 16 minutes, when Mitsuhiro Iwamoto bullocked through the Perth defence and fired a shot off the inside of the back post. The ball ricocheted back into play, but Toufic Alameddine was on hand to prod home the rebound and send the large contingent of 1,857 fans into raptures.

Rockdale’s second goal would come 5 minutes before the break. Jesic tracked the ball down in the right corner, before delivering a quality cross to the back post for Macallister to head home with ease.

The Suns would seal their path to the round of 16 shortly after, when a clever give-and-go between Jesic and Alameddine ended with the former Jets striker sliding the ball under the onrushing Perth goalkeeper to make it 3-0.

Perth handed themselves a lifeline in the 71st minute, when Dean Evans was adjudged to have been unfairly bodied out of the way in the penalty area. Clark Keltie took on the responsibility from the penalty spot and made no mistake, thumping the ball past Necevski and into the back of the net.

It wouldn’t be enough, however, as Rockdale comfortably booked their ticket to the Round of 16 of the 2015 FFA Cup.

Croydon Kings 1-2 Lions FC

Lions FC came into this clash in Adelaide with form on their side, sitting 9 points clear and having sewn up the Brisbane Premier League title last week. Croydon, though, had the home field advantage, and with former A-Leaguers in Rocky Visconte and Allan Welsh on the books, Croydon would’ve been confident coming into the clash. Lions countered with a former A-League defender of their own, with ex-Phoenix youngster Josh Brindell-South anchoring the Lions FC defensive line.

Good form would speak volumes for Lions, who dominated large portions of the opening half and broke the deadlock after just 14 minutes. A beautifully weighted through ball down the middle of the park found the onrushing Shoheel Khan, who calmly slotted the ball home into the far corner.

Lions would double their lead just a minute after the half-time break. Despite initially awarding a corner for a 50-50 clash in the Lions attacking area, the assistant referee intervened to ensure the decision was changed to a spot kick. Andre Bonotto stepped up to the spot and duly doubled the lead for the visitors.

Croydon got themselves back into the game in the 66th minute, when a shot on goal by Kings’ captain Luke Klimek took a big deflection before finding its way into the back of the net.

The Kings almost sent the game to extra time with a late corner, but a header in the dying moments glanced out off the post, ensuring Lions FC advanced to the Round of 16.

About the author

avatarJustin is a passionate football fan, and the Editor-in-chief of Ultimate A-League.

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