ROUND OF 32
This year’s competition kicked off with a bang over four memorable match days which saw 56 goals fly in across the 16 matches, a couple of massive Cup shocks, some classy football and the emergence of new Westfield FFA Cup stars.
Biggest stories of the round
- Victorian outfit Green Gully became just the second PS4 NPL club to beat Hyundai A-League opposition, with big striker Liam Boland’s stunning long-range lob handing them a famous 2-1 win over Central Coast.
- Just 24 hours later, Queensland’s Redlands United dumped out Hyundai A-League champions Adelaide United by the same scoreline to spark jubilant scenes at Perry Park.
- Danny Choi (Blacktown City): The livewire winger scored arguably the best goal ever seen in the Westfield FFA Cup that went viral. He tore Sydney United apart and later picked up an A-League contract with the Reds.
- Liam Boland (Green Gully): Caused the Mariners defence all sorts of problems and then produced a moment of magic with an audacious chip to complete a Cup boilover that made national headlines.
- Lachlan Scott (Western Sydney Wanderers): In his first competitive start, the teenager scored twice as the Wanderers came from two goals down to beat Wellington 3-2.
- Patrick Antelmi (Blacktown City): Came off the bench to score a hat-trick in the 10-man Demons’ big win over United.
- Matt Simon (Sydney FC): Scored a double as the Sky Blues saw off a stubborn Wollongong Wolves 3-0.
- Nico Giantsopoulos (Devonport City): The Canadian gloveman came up with three huge saves in the cold and wet in the dying minutes to preserve his side’s 1-0 win over Lambton Jaffas.
- Danny Choi (Blacktown City): His incredible 70-metre strike from well inside his own half against Sydney United 58 went viral.
- Mitch Nichols (Western Sydney Wanderers): A brilliant turn, run and 30-yard thunderbolt in the comeback win over Wellington.
- Liam Boland (Green Gully): A first-time lob from 40-yards out which caught out Ivan Necevski and sunk the Mariners.
- Chris Payne (Sydney United): Showed superb technique to control the ball on his chest and then volley it over the keeper and into the far corner from an acute angle against Blacktown.
ROUND OF 16
The big guns began to flex their muscles in the last 16 as Tim Cahill made his City bow, while there were also impressive wins for PS4 NPL clubs. We saw 22 goals scored across the eight games.
Biggest stories/shock of the round
- Caltex Socceroo Tim Cahill made his competitive debut for Melbourne City in front of a huge crowd in Brisbane, coming off the bench in the A-League side’s come-from-behind win over the Strikers.
- There would be no return to the final for Perth Glory, who bowed out in the last 16 at the hands of Sydney FC after extra-time.
- Canberra Olympic became the first-ever side from the ACT into the last eight after a 2-0 win over Redlands United.
- Nico Giantsopoulos (Devonport City): Almost single-handedly kept his side in the match against Bentleigh, pulling off astonishing save after astonishing save. What a find he was.
- Scott Neville (Wanderers): The right-back scored a brace in the Wanderers’ impressive 5-1 rout of Edgeworth Eagles.
- Liam Boland (Green Gully): Another excellent outing from the striker, bagging a brace in Gully’s 3-1 win over Melbourne Knights.
- Joey Gibbs (Blacktown City): A stunning swerving free-kick in their 3-0 demolition of Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
- Daniel McBreen (Edgeworth Eagles): Swooped on a loose ball and fired into the roof of the net from the edge of the box against Wanderers.
- Milos Ninkovic (Sydney FC): A brilliant solo run and exquisite finish in the win over Perth Glory.
- Nicholas Krousoratis (Green Gully): Against Knights, he curled a superb finish past the keeper into the far corner.
A goal from an overhead kick, a goal-scoring keeper, a memorable starting debut from a Brazilian marquee and Timmy’s maiden City goal. The quarter-final clashes had a bit of everything.
- Cahill scored his first Melbourne City goal as they destroyed the Wanderers 4-1 at AAMI Park.
- A late penalty from cult hero keeper and skipper Angelo Konstantinou booked a 10-man Canberra Olympic a spot in the semis after a 1-0 win over Green Gully.
- Angelo Konstantinou (Canberra Olympic): The gloveman not only kept his side in the game with some crucial saves, he then scored the winner from the spot in stoppage time. What a character he was!
- Bobo (Sydney FC): Marked his first competitive start for the Sky Blues with two assists and a goal as they accounted for Blacktown City 3-0.
- Michael Jakobsen (Melbourne City): Produced an unbelievable overhead kick to open the scoring early on in City’s rout of the Wanderers.
- David Carney (Sydney FC): After Bobo’s knock-down, Carney smashed a left-footed volley into the corner of the net from the edge of the box.
We were treated to a pulsating Melbourne Derby, while the Sky Blues maintained their perfect start to the 2016/17 Season on a chilly night in the ACT.
- City won through to their first Westfield FFA Cup final after a fiery – and at times controversial – 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.
- The Sky Blues saw off a spirited display from Canberra Olympic to book their spot in the decider with a 3-0 win in the nation’s capital. Bernie Ibini marked his first competitive match in over a year after a horror injury with a goal off the bench.
- Milos Dimitrijevic (Sydney FC): In a rare start this season, the Serbian ran the show in the middle before stamping his authority with a classy goal.
- Fernando Brandan (Melbourne City): Was City’s best attacking outlet and caused Victory’s defence all sorts of issues, before scoring the match-sealer late on.
- Milos Dimitrijevic (Sydney FC): The Serbian midfielder curled a pin-point free-kick over the wall and into the top corner from just outside the box.
- Luke Brattan (Melbourne City): His powerful low drive was too much for Lawrence Thomas to handle, arrowing into the bottom corner.
WESTFIELD FFA CUP FINAL 2016
- Bruno Fornaroli (Melbourne City): The Uruguayan won the prestigious Mark Viduka Medal for his man-of-the-match display.
- Michael Jakobsen (Melbourne City): A masterful performance from the central defender, who was instrumental in keeping the Sky Blues at bay, including a crucial goal-line clearance from Bobo’s header in the second half.
City claimed the club’s first-ever piece of men’s silverware with a gritty 1-0 win over Sydney FC – thanks to that man Tim Cahill - in front of almost 19,000 fans at AAMI Park.
Luke Brattan’s late tackle on Michael Zullo early on – which sparked an all-in melee - set the tone for what was a combustible 90 minutes.
City went in front early in the second half and despite some frantic late pressure from the Sky Blues, held on to lift the iconic trophy to reward the club’s huge ambition in Australia and give their growing fan base something to celebrate.
And Cahill did what Cahill does best, scoring a crucial goal on the big stage. The Caltex Socceroo provided the decisive breakthrough just seven minutes into the second half, showing all his experience to manufacture a metre of space at the far post, to rise highest and meet Ivan Franjic’s cross with a perfectly executed header.
A trademark Cahill goal worthy of winning any final as the legend put a final flourish on the FFA Cup for another year.