The magic of the cup was in full flow as Bentleigh Greens caused the shock of the 2018 FFA Cup by sending Hyundai A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix crashing out at the Round of 32 stage.
The Victorian NPL side stunned the Nix when Marco Jankovic, the son of former Real Madrid defender Milan Jankovic, gave Bentleigh the lead after 23 minutes.
The Greens were up against it when James Kelly was shown a second yellow card after 33 minutes, but the 10 men dug in and held on to record a memorable victory to spoil Mark Rudan's opening game in charge of Wellington.
Wanderers dodge a bullet
There was more drama in Darwin, as Hellenic Athletic almost made Markus Babbel’s debut in the Western Sydney Wanderers dugout just as painful as Rudan's first match.
In a rollercoaster encounter, Wanderers came through 4-3 with a dramatic 92nd minute winner from Roly Bonevacia to crush Hellenic’s dreams of an upset.
The Northern Territory side had fought back from 2-0 behind to level, and again when Sulav Maskey scored his second of the game to make it 3-3, but the late heartbreaker won it for the Hyundai A-League team.
Elsewhere, in all-Hyundai A-League clashes, a strike in the last minute of extra-time from Bruno Fornaroli ensured Melbourne City would not need a penalty shootout against Brisbane Roar, while Melbourne Victory edged out Perth Glory by the same score, 1-0, thanks to Kosta Barbarouses’ goal.
Newcastle Jets were another Hyundai A-League side to dodge an upset on a strong evening of performances by the underdogs. Nikolai Topor-Stanley’s effort gave the Jets a 1-0 win over Gold Coast Knights.
Devonport City will represent member federation teams in the Round of 16, after Miles Barnard’s two goals inspired the Tasmanian side to a 3-1 victory against Northcote City in Victoria.
Relive all of the goals, excitement and drama in our LIVE BLOG below.
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