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2015 FFA Cup Matchday Two Wrap

FFA Cup - Gungahlin United FC v Sydney Olympic FC

Matchday Two saw fans around Australia treated to a feast of goals, two games nabbed at the death and a penalty shootout to highlight the round.

With bumper crowds for Cup football across the nation, four states saw their footballing heroes battle for a spot in the round of 16 ahead of tomorrow’s Matchday Three.

With 16 goals scored in regulation time, those fans who braved the elements were more than treated to quality football in a competition that continues to grip the nation.

Balmain Tigers 0 - 6 Melbourne Victory

4,849 fans packed into Leichardt Oval to see one of the minnows of the FFA Cup take on the Grand Final champions and A-League heavyweight Melbourne Victory.

Besart Berisha got the visitors off to a dream start after some great build up play from Jesse Makarounas in the 11th minute saw the Albanian striker with oodles of time to prod it underneath Anthony Costa at the near post.

Despite a near-miss on the Victory goal from a freekick, the home side would see double trouble as Makarounas unleashed Geria and the wing back dribbled into the box behind Berisha to provide Connor Pain with the easiest of tap-in’s on 41 minutes.

Besart Berisha thought he’d had his second in the opening stages of the second half, however the marksmen found himself in an offside position before spectacularly putting the ball past Costa.

Minutes later, Kosta Barbourouses would heap more pain on the third tier side though, with Connor Pain putting the ball on a platter for the kiwi international on 55 minutes and he calmly slotted the ball to the top right of the oncoming keeper.

Barbarouses would turn provider just minutes later as he found himself in space on the right inside the penalty area and his deflected shot off Costa found Daniel Georgievski and the full back calmly slotted it into the net to make it 4-0.

It would be five on 70 minutes as Fahid Ben Khalfallah was released down the right wing, and with Balmain’s defence switched off, the Tunisian strolled into the box before crossing for substitute George Howard to sidefoot home.

And Ben Khalfallah would have a goal of his own at the death to wrap up the scoring, after a crossback from previous scorer George Howard.

Edgeworth 1 - 2 Melbourne City

2430 fans made their way to Magic Park as the glitz and glamour of A-League side Melbourne City came to town to take on Edgeworth.

City were given the shock of their lives though after 26 minutes when Hammel was awarded a penalty after some lax defending and some poor goalkeeping from Tando Velaphi gifted the home side a goal from the spot.

It wouldn’t last long however as on 32 minutes, Aaron Mooy pulled one out of the top drawer to equalise.

The Ultimate A-League 2014-15 player of the year calmly placed the ball down outside the box and curled his set piece to the left of the helpless keeper after Stefan Mauk had earlier been brought down.

Edgeworth had City on the rails in the second half and looked the more likely to break the deadlock but again it would be brilliance of Aaron Mooy who would guarantee a Round of 16 berth for the A-League side.

Once again from the dead ball Mooy showed his prowess, with a nearly identical strike that snatched victory from the jaws of extra-time.

Sydney United 58 FC 3-3 South Hobart (Sydney United 58 FC win 3-1 on penalties)

Sydney United could have been forgiven for having an NPL hangover after their 5-0 loss to Manly United, however the home side came out of the blocks and could feel unlucky that after the Leszczynski unleashed Hugh Undy on the right wing and his seeking cross perplexed Justin Pasfield, with the former Sydney FC goalkeeper gifting the ball to striker Chris Hunt who put the visitors on the front foot after 27 minutes.

Brayden Mann would double United’s misery just two minutes after the half-time break as the striker burst free of Ibrahim Haydar to poke the ball under Justin Pasfield and into the back of the net.

Panni Nikas would peg one back for the home side however, with an absolute pearler of a free kick from the left hand wing, to give them a glimmer of hope on 57 minutes.

And the former NYL Player of the Year would equalise just fourteen minutes later with Chris Triantis finding Mark Sindric on the left wing who centred the ball for Nikas to powerfully finish and send the home crowd into raptures.

The comeback was completed with minutes remaining in the second half, as Panni Nikas again found himself on the ball in the penalty area and his cut back to Chris Triantis saw the former Newcastle Jets man bullet his shot to the right of the keeper to give United the lead.

But with three minutes left on the clock, South Hobart proved they weren’t out of it yet, with Alfred Hess equalising off his head and guaranteeing extra-time.

Both sides showed their fatique in injury time with neither side able to break the deadlock, but not without some late drama.

South Hobart’s Dan Brown would become the first player in this year’s FFA Cup to receive a red card after a soft second yellow card for a poor tackle right at the death with just a minute left of injury time.

It would be Sydney United’s night however as Justin Pasfield made up for his earlier indiscretions, saving the vital penalty in a 3-1 shootout win, but not without further controversy.

A United ballboy was seen waving his hands and trying to put off South Hobart penalty takers – an issue that should have been nipped in the bud early on by goal-line officials.

Alas, South Hobart would go out on penalties again, whilst Sydney United locked up another Round of 16 berth.

Gungahlin United 0-1 Sydney Olympic

1,603 brave souls faced -6 degree temperatures at Gungahlin Enclosed with the home side coming out of the blocks with some great early attacks on the Sydney Olympic goal.

Olympic would find their stride, however, with their class in midfield showing through as they tried to pressure the home side out of the game.

Of course though, it would take something spectacular to snatch the game and it came in the form of one of the most spectacular goals of the competition thus far.

With six minutes left on the clock, it would be the visitors who would open the scoring late on with Gaitatzis unleashing with a long range effort to break the deadlock and Canberran hearts.

Try as they might, the visitors couldn’t get one back against the former NSL heavyweights, but did themselves proud and gave themselves a good showing for Capital Football.

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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