Best bits from a thrilling Match Day 2 in the FFA Cup 2019 Round of 16
Hear that? That’s the sound of Western Sydney Wanderers fans rubbing their hands together with glee.
Fans of the Red and Black have every reason to feel optimistic after watching their team hit seven goals against Sydney United 58 in Wednesday night’s Round of 16 tie in Campbelltown.
It was a night which belonged to Markus Babbel’s star recruits from Europe, namely Radoslaw Majewski and Pirmin Schwegler.
Pole Majewski pulled all the strings and registered his maiden goal in Australian football with a blinding strike late on, while Schwegler looks sure to be a hit with Wanderers fans.
And keeper Daniel Lopar also deserves a special mention, despite having very little to do against United.
But he did have to come up big early in the second half, making this incredible double-save to keep the score at 3-1 and halt the home side's mini fightback.
Daniel Georgievski, another of Babbel’s recruits, also enjoyed a fine night out. The ex-Newcastle Jet is quickly becoming a fan favourite with Wanderers fans and he endeared himself even further by terrorising the United 58 defence and scoring two goals.
It was a record-breaking night for the Wanderers as well, with the 7-1 triumph the biggest-ever win in the club's history.
The eight goals scored in the match is also the equal second most goals scored in an FFA Cup match, just one off the nine goals scored in Hakoah's 6-3 triumph over Hills Brumbies in 2017, and Sydney United's 7-2 drubbing of Far North Queensland in the same year.
Brisbane Roar may have seen their FFA Cup dreams come to an end at the hands of the Mariners, but Robbie Fowler’s men did manage to equal a 41-year record.
With Roy O’Donovan, Aiden O’Neill, Jay O’Shea and Connor O’Toole in Roar’s starting side, it’s the first-time since 1978 a team has had as many surnames with an O’.
As stats whiz Andrew Howe pointed out on Twitter, you need to go back to the St George team of the late 1970’s to find the last time it happened.
That St George team boasted Phil O’Connor plus O’Shea brothers John, Mike and Rob.
Birighitti the Mariners' hero
If Central Coast Mariners fans were going to take time to warm to keeper Mark Birighitti – given his past with their closest rivals Newcastle Jets – they certainly do now.
In his first competitive start for the club, the 28-year-old gloveman was the hero in Wednesday night’s gripping win over the Roar.
Birighitti saved two penalties in the shootout to help the Mariners book their first Quarter Final berth in the FFA Cup since 2014.
“The game kind of swung both ways. We had our opportunities, Brisbane had their opportunities and going into extra-time it was never going to be easy,” Birighitti said.
“After 90 minutes that extra half hour kills the boys and I kind of had the feeling it was going to penalties.
“So I was just happy I could play my part for the team and the boys in that dressing room.”
The greatest goal to be forgotten?
Spare a thought for Adelaide Olympic’s Mamadi Kamara.
Olympic midfielder Kamara – who hails from Guinea and was announced in April as the sixth-fastest footballer in South Australia – got his side off to a flyer with a wonderful solo goal in Wednesday evening’s Round of 16 tie with Hume City.
Kamara received possession inside his own half before pelting toward goal, leaving a trail of Hume defenders in his wake, before setting himself inside the box and firing the NPL South Australia outfit into the lead.
His incredible effort was subsequently outdone by a hat-trick from visiting striker and ex-Melbourne City youth Marko Delic.
Delic scored three goals to put the 2015 Semi Finalists into a Quarter Final date with Central Coast Mariners, registering the 10th FFA Cup hat-trick in the process.
Simon’s celebration leaves everyone guessing
One of the biggest questions to come out of the Mariners’ win over the Roar centred around skipper Matt Simon’s interesting goal celebration.
Simon opened the scoring at Dolphins Stadium from the penalty spot, before running off to celebrate by crouching down and pulling his jersey over his knees.
While the celebration was unique, it left most viewers scratching their heads wondering exactly what it was all about.
Fox Sports Football expert Robbie Slater even added in commentary: "Whatever he's doing, he shouldn't do it".
Check out Simon's celebration below and see if you can figure out what it is.
Bilic’s bullet…at the wrong end
It was a finish that would impress the most clinical striker and gave the Sydney United 58 keeper no chance.
But unfortunately for defender Matthew Bilic, his impressive strike against the Wanderers came at the wrong end.
The 25-year-old did his best to try and stop Daniel Georgievski’s cross reaching Mo Adam at the far post but his attempted clearance went horribly wrong.
Ingham meets his former club of four weeks
About a month ago, Jai Ingham scored two goals for Central Coast Mariners in a big pre-season friendly win over Charlestown City Blues.
But on Wednesday night the speedy winger came up against the Mariners just four weeks after his shock departure from the Gosford club.
Ingham’s transfer saga has been one of the intriguing stories of the Hyundai A-League off-season, joining the Mariners in June on a two-year deal before switching to Fowler’s Roar just six weeks later.
In the end it was his former club that had the last laugh as they squeezed into the last eight via a shootout.
FFA Cup 2019 Quarter Final draw
Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets
Melbourne City v Western Sydney Wanderers
Brisbane Strikers v Moreland Zebras
Hume City v Central Coast Mariners