Iconic National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s club Sydney Olympic survived a major scare after scrapping through to round 6 of the FFA Cup knockout competition after being pushed to extra-time by Sutherland Shire Football Association outfit Menai Hawks in a 3-1 win at Seymour Shaw on Wednesday evening.
The Blues opened the scoring via the spot in the 16th minute via Brendan Cholakian before Thomas Papa sent the home fans into raptures bagging a 93rd minute equaliser sending the match into extra-time. As valiant as the Hawks were, Ante Juric’s side battled through as goals to Darcy Burgess and Matthew Scarcella ensured the NPL top tier side avoided an embarrassing exit.
Popondetta Park played host to a thriller as NPL NSW Men’s top tier side Mt Druitt Town Rangers booked its ticket to the next round with a hard fought 3-2 win over giantkillers fresh from knocking out Sydney United 58 in round 4, 3-2. It looked as though Shane Cansdell-Sherriff’s men were smelling yet another major upset as the club went 2-0 up thanks to goals from Ante Tomic and Tai Smith. The Rangers had other ideas in particular former Australian youth international John Roberts. The robust striker broke Bankstown City FC hearts bagging a memorable hattrick that all but ended Bankstown City FC’s fairytale run in the FFA Cup.
Blacktown Football Park played host to another cracking match that almost saw Eastern Suburbs Football Association side Glebe Gorillas cause a shock upset as they went down to NPL 2 NSW Men’s side Blacktown Spartans 4-1 on penalties after the match finished one-a-piece. Rupert Murray got the visitors ahead in the 9th minute before Alex Gollan equalised for the hosts under new manager Andrew Montgomery in the 35th. The match was played at a frenetic pace but no goals were seen for the remainder of the match as well as extra time as the game headed into the dreaded penalty shootouts. Montgomery’s men held their nerve and avoided defeat taking it out 4-1, much to the delight of the home fans.
Crest Athletic saw NPL 3 NSW Men’s side Canterbury Bankstown make light work of Illawarra Premier League outfit Wollongong United with the side running out 3-0 victors. Goals to Gino Cerasoli, Andre Guzman and Joshua Mbakwe secured an FFA Cup Round 6 spot.
It was an epic NPL 2 NSW Men’s battle as the Northern Tigers defeated fellow rivals St George City FA 3-2 in extra-time. The hosts took a 2-0 lead thanks to Oliver Scott and Shervin Adeli before St George City struck back through Ethan Dosanjh and Jason Romero, with the Spaniard’s goal sending the game into extra-time. Nicholas Drummond proved to be the star of the night as his goal in the 102nd minute locked in the club’s spot in round 6 of the FFA Cup.
Finally, Hoxton Park Reserve saw an all-out Association battle take shape as Southern Districts Soccer Football Association side Liverpool Olympic continued its dream run into the cup defeating Football South Coast side Unanderra Hearts 1-0. Markos Galla was the hero as his goal in the 72nd minute ensured that there will be yet another Association presence in Round 6 of the Cup.
The evening did see one match washed out with the Mounties Wanderers and Banksia Tigers clash set to be arranged for next week.
Round 6 FFA Cup Qualified Teams
APIA Leichhardt (NPL 1)
Blacktown City (NPL 1)
Blacktown Spartans (NPL 2)
Canterbury Bankstown (NPL 3)
Hakoah Sydney City East (NPL 2)
Liverpool Olympic (Southern Districts Soccer FA)
Manly United (NPL 1)
Marconi Stallions (NPL 1)
Mt Druitt Town Rangers (NPL 1)
Northern Tigers (NPL 2)
NWS Spirit (NPL 2)
Rockdale Illinden (NPL 1)
St George FC (NPL 2)
Sydney Olympic (NPL 1)
Wollongong Olympic (Football South Coast)
Mounties Wanderers v Banksia Tigers Postponed