South Melbourne FC pulled off one of the great Houdini acts in a Westfield FFA Cup classic as Football Federation Victoria’s Round of 32 entrants were confirmed.
Staring at a three goal deficit against Dandenong City with less than 15 minutes to go, South Melbourne hopped up off the canvas to score four times, the winner in the final minute of stoppage time, to prevail 5-4. CLICK HERE for a full match report on the official South Melbourne website.
The result was an epic finale to Victoria’s Preliminary Rounds and with the four entrants for the Round of 32 locked away, there is an air of familiarity about the four clubs who have qualified.
South Melbourne FC joined Bentleigh Greens, Heidelberg United and Hume City as the four remaining clubs from the 217 sides who competed in Victoria’s Preliminary Rounds.
The PlayStation 4 NPL quartet are all back on the national stage in what will be at least the second time they have each featured in the Round of 32.
Bentleigh Greens and Hume City are both former semi finalists, while Heidelberg United and South Melbourne are into the Westfield FFA Cup Final Rounds for the second time.
Hume City became the first Football Federation Victoria side to book their spot in this year’s Final Rounds after they accounted for Moreland City 4-0.
Hume striker Liam Boland, who scored a wonder goal for Green Gully to knock the Central Coast Mariners out in the Round of 32 last year, opened the scoring to give the hosts a 1-0 lead at the break.
Nick Hegarty then scored either side of a Nicholas Panetta strike to secure the 4-0 result and passage through to the Round of 32 for the third straight year.
It was a much tighter contest at Kingston Heath as Bentleigh Greens won the battle of the ‘greens’ against Green Gully 3-2. Troy Ruthven, Matt Thurtell and Andy Brennan each found the back of the next for Bentleigh, who had gone a goal down after Green Gully stormed out of the blocks with a 3rd minute opener.
Heidelberg United secured its spot in the last 32 with a workmanlike 2-0 win over rivals Northcote City. The damage was done in the first half courtesy of a cracking strike from Reuben Way and a Ken Athiu header.
The four Victorian clubs will now await the Round of 32 draw on Thursday 29 June to see who they will face in the next stage.
CLICK HERE to view the four Round 7 results.