You never know what you’re going to get. That’s the attraction of the Westfield FFA Cup and opening night delivered yet again with #TheMagicOfTheCup
Those who read our “25 Best Players Outside The A-League” special recently would’ve clocked the name Danny Choi.
In it, we noted: “City have relied on his quick thinking and precise distribution in 2016”.
Now can you see why?
On Wednesday night, the Blacktown City star’s outrageous 70-yard bomb against Sydney United 58 was precision personified.
Taking a page out of Juventus' Carlos Blanco Moreno against Victory in the weekend’s ICC, Choi went for technique over power to score arguably the greatest ever FFA Cup goal.
Actually there’s no argument, it is the greatest Cup goal.
On the mazy markings of Lilys Football Centre, the South Korean made the calculation and craftily claimed goal of the season.
And City were just as memorable, confirming one of the most daring comebacks you’ll ever see.
Down two goals against the NSW NPL league leaders inside the first 20 minutes, Blacktown didn’t panic. They simply ran over the top of Mark Rudan’s men with energy and intent.
Patrick Antelmi was majestic, Mitch Mallia dangerous, but all the talk this morning is Choi.
To triumph 6-2 – and with 10 men after a late red – suggests this City side is very, very special.
Perhaps lost in the talk about Choi on social was Edgeworth Eagles.
The FFA Cup means a helluva lot to these boys. They’re still hurting.
After they pushed Aaron Mooy’s Melbourne City all the way at this stage last year, all the planning since has gone into FFA Cup redemption.
To fly from chilly Newcastle to tropical Cairns and dismantle the PS4 NPL QLD leaders like that? A more clinical display you won’t see.
Like Blacktown, it was a special performance lead ably by the indefatigable Daniel McBreen up top.
Coach Damian Zane even held back Japanese playmaker Keigo Moriyasu till the final 10 minutes.
In Darwin, the Craic was somewhat subdued after the minnows Rovers were blown away by a superbly clinical Brisbane Strikers.
Still, the sight of the Rovers arriving in a stretch hummer was brilliant, and the Darwin Football Stadium on a typically warm night in the NT is pretty special.
Like Rovers, Marconi from NPL 2 in NSW were hoping for their Cup fairytale. But unlike Rovers, they almost wrote their own headlines.
Against an out of sorts Hume, the well-organised Stallions scored a brilliant opener from burly Mirjan Pavlovic, but with fatigue setting in fast, couldn’t quite hang on and Hume held their nerve in the shootout.
To see the guy who sits across from you in the office – in this case Marconi keeper Chad Taylor – on the Fox Sports coverage keeping Hume at bay was just another reason to love this national competition (though no Cup fairytale for Chad, it’s back to advertising sales for him).
A 70 metre wonder strike, a stunning comeback, a penalty shootout and 19 goals across four matches.
The Cup is back. And there’s more to come next week.