A relieved Melbourne City coach John van ‘t Schip said his side did enough to overcome a “dangerous” Floreat Athena in the Westfield FFA Cup on Tuesday night.
The Hyundai A-League outfit edged the WA PS4 NPL club 2-1 at Dorrien Gardens courtesy of goals to Nick Fitzgerald and Anthony Caceres.
But it was far from a routine victory for City, with Athena drawing level early in the second half through Kris Gate before Caceres’ long-range stunner won it for the visitors.
“They had some dangerous moments as well and credit to Floreat Athena,” van ‘t Schip said afterwards.
“They made it very hard for us and we’re just happy we’re there for the next round.”
More than 1400 fans were treated to an entertaining and – at times – feisty clash in the west.
With new recruit Luke Brattan in excellent touch, City had the better of the chances but often found Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris difficult to pass.
The gloveman’s performance kept his side in the contest right until the end and they had chances of their own to possible pull off their own FFA Cup boilover.
“To only lose 2-1 to an outfit like that is tremendous,” Floreat boss Glen Grostate said.
“It’s the happiest I’ve been when I’ve lost a game.
“We could feel the crowd behind us all night…it was like we had WA behind us and that was magnificent.”