Best moments of FFA Cup 2019: Brisbane Strikers shock Wellington Phoenix
The magic of the cup was in full effect when NPL QLD outfit Brisbane Strikers earned an unexpected win over Hyundai A-League side Wellington Phoenix in a thrilling FFA Cup Round of 32 clash at Perry Park.
In that classic contest back in August, the hosts took an unlikely lead through Hiroki Omori in the first half, and if the Phoenix were shocked to go into half time trailing 1-0 they were completely dumbfounded as Andy Pengelly extended the Strikers’ lead to two on 54 minutes.
But a young Phoenix side - who fielded a starting eleven with an average age of 21.1 in what was Ufuk Talay's first match at the helm - weren’t ready to roll over. They mounted a fierce comeback kick-started by a goal to Cameron Devlin with half an hour to play and capped off by a Callum McCowatt strike ten minutes later.
The game continued into extra time and the Phoenix were handed the chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat when a handball in the box led to a penalty which David Ball stepped up to take.
His strike arrowed toward the left side of goal but Strikers ‘keeper Bon Scott was up to the challenge, leaping to his right to palm it away.
A penalty shootout ensued and once again Ball stepped up to the spot and fluffed his lines, sending Scott the wrong way but blasting his shot over the bar.
Scott saw his chance to be a hero and pounced on McCowatt’s penalty attempt to hand Fraser Hills the chance to win the Strikers the game, which he took with aplomb.
The scenes at Perry Park after Hills penalty hit the back of the net were manic, and with good reason: the Strikers were on a roll, and their win over the Phoenix was just the start as they progressed all the way to the semi-finals where they finally fell to Melbourne City.
“I was quietly confident before the game because I know what we’re capable of," Scott said after the game.
"We’ve been a bit inconsistent in the league this year but in the cup we’ve been awesome and we showed massive character.”