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FFA Cup Quarter Finals Matchday Two Wrap

velaphicupMelbourne City and Perth Glory joined the Victory and Hume City in the final four of the 2015 FFA Cup, with City seeing off Heidelberg United 5-0 at the Olympic Village, and Perth defeating Western Sydney 4-2 on penalties in the West.

The draw for the semi-finals, conducted at the conclusion of tonight’s matches, sees Hume City host Melbourne Victory, and Melbourne City taking on the Glory in Perth.

Heidelberg United 0-5 Melbourne City

A bumper crowd of 11,372 fans — the second most in FFA Cup history — at Heidelberg’s Olympic Village greeted home side Heidelberg United and visitors Melbourne City, who made the five minute trip up the road from the City Football Academy for Tuesday night’s clash.

Both sides were away in the Round of 32 in Newcastle, with Heidelberg topping Broadmeadow Magic 3-1, and Melbourne City ‘edging’ out Edgeworth FC 2-1. In the Round of 16, City thrashed Wellington Phoenix 5-1 at home, with Heidelberg also progressing at home with a 2-0 win over Sydney United.

Heidelberg would’ve come into the game with plenty of confidence, after finishing a credible 3rd in this year’s NPL Victoria competition, as well as the high-profile, short-term signing of 36 year old Greek international Kostas Katsouranis, whom Heidelberg coach George Katsakis would be hoping could provide a level of surety to the Heidelberg midfield.

Adding to the confidence would be the absence of no less than 10 first-team players for Melbourne City, with the likes of Michael Zullo, Ivan Franjic, David Williams and Aaron Hughes all missing.

It seemed to make no difference to City, however, as they took the lead just two minutes into the match. A great piece of control and footwork by Wade Dekker on the edge of the area allowed the youngster to combine with Aaron Mooy before setting up Bruno Foranroli for a simple finish inside the six yard box.

City dominated the opening proceedings, with Mooy twice going close at the back post. Foranroli almost had a second in the 11th minute, but his glancing header came thundering back off the post and was cleared by the Heidelberg defence.

The home side’s first chance came after 21 minutes, with Nejc Kolman beating Jack Clisby on the right side of the box before delivering a perfect ball across goal to Kaine Sheppard. Somehow, though, Sheppard’s shot was denied by a diving Tando Velaphi, much to the disappointment of the large crowd.

City, though, weren’t to be dissuaded, as they continued in their search for a second goal. Fornaroli’s curling effort in the 27th minute and Chapman’s shot off the post in the 29th minute both somehow stayed out, before Koren was denied by Griffin McMaster.

Heidelberg closed out the half strongly, with Kostas Kanakaris and Sheppard looking dangerous down the right side of the field, but City held firm with a 1-0 lead at the break.

Aaron Mooy was the story of the second half, going close on two occasions — including having a goal ruled out correctly for offside — and scoring three, to put City safely through to the semi finals.

Mooy’s first goal came in the 65th minute, after he received the ball from the onrushing Koren, took one touch and then fired past McMaster and into the bottom corner.

Then, five minutes later, Mooy added a third for City, after he was afforded far too much space outside the penalty area. Sensing the opportunity, Mooy lashed a shot into the opposite corner to his first, with McMaster again unable to get a hand on the shot.

With the game winding down, Mooy secured a well-earned hat-trick. After a deflected shot was kept in by Fornaroli, Jack Clisby unleashed a ferocious shot at McMaster’s goal, with the former Queensland Roar gloveman only able to parry the shot into the path of Mooy, who gleefully tapped the ball home.

Deep into stoppage time, City added a fifth after substitute Stefan Zinni cut inside and laid the ball in front of Bruno Fornaroli, who placed his shot into the far corner for his second goal of the match.

Perth Glory 1-1 Western Sydney Wanderers (4-2 on penalties)

With nib Stadium having its turf re-laid, an unfamiliar venue in Perth SC’s Dorrien Gardens played host to A-League sides Perth Glory and Western Sydney Wanderers for Tuesday’s FFA Cup quarter final.

Perth Glory made it to the Quarter Finals with a narrow win on penalties over Newcastle in the Round of 32, and a 1-0 win (after extra time) to see off Brisbane Premier League side Lions FC. For Tony Popovic’s side, wins over Brisbane Roar and Palm Beach saw the Wanderers advance in the FFA Cup for the first time, after departing in the Round of 32 last year.

Ante Covic started between the posts for the home side, starting against the team he won an Asian Champions League title with just a year ago. At the other end of the park, new signings Guyon Fernandez and Diego Castro started up front for the Glory.

For the Wanderers, an injury to Brendon Santalab in the warm-up meant that new signing Dario Vidosic was required to take a spot on the bench.

The first chance of the game came in the 10th minute, with Nebojsa Marinkovic lashing a shot at goal from distance, a talent he displayed repeatedly last season. This time, Andrew Redmayne was up to the task, getting down low to deny the Serbian the opening goal.

All in all, the opening half hour was fairly even, with neither side creating too many clear-cut chances. Then, with time ticking down to half time, Western Sydney took the advantage.

New signings Jacob Pepper and Mitch Nichols combined well down the right, with the latter sending a low cross in toward the penalty spot. Somehow, Dimas Delgado — another new signing — got in front of his defender to force the ball home past Covic.

The Wanderers started the second half as they finished the first, going close to making it 2-0 in the 56th minute, with Piovaccari unable to get on the end of a well-placed cross.

However, it would be Perth Glory who would even the ledger on the hour mark. A deflected cross off the boot of Chris Harold fell into the path of Marinkovic, who hit it sweetly first time past Redmayne and into the bottom corner. Controversially, the assistant flagged for offside, but after a lengthy discussion with the referee, the goal was deemed to be legitimate.

The remainder of the half belonged primarily to the newly-energised Glory, as they went in search of a winner that would send them through to a semi-final match-up with Melbourne City. It didn’t arrive, however, and referee Stephen Lucas — after 5 minutes of injury time — blew his whistle to indicate that an extra half an hour would be required to determine a result.

Marinkovic’s shot from just outside the box in the 103rd minute was the sole highlight of the first half of extra time, but unfortunately for the Glory, the shot drifted wide.

From a corner in the 116th minute, Antony Golec almost won it for Perth, but the defender’s acrobatic volley went narrowly over the crossbar, cueing groans from the 3,000-odd Glory fans in attendance.

In the end, spot kicks would be required to separate the two sides, and with misses by Piovaccari and Jamieson for Western Sydney, Perth progressed to the Semi Finals of the FFA Cup 4-2 on penalties, and will host Melbourne City for a place in the Final.

About the author

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

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