The Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 witnessed the fastest Cup goal, red cards, penalty saves, long-range stunners and extra time drama. Here’s what happened...
Heidelberg United 2
(Heffernan 1’, Athiu 87’)
Sydney United 0
Goals at the start and end of this entertaining encounter were enough for home side Heidelberg United to progress into the FFA Cup quarter finals 2-0 at Melbourne’s Olympic Village.
An incredible start with the fastest ever FFA Cup scored by prolific Dan Heffernan after just 26 seconds put Heidelberg in the box seat. Reuben Way’s cross directed home by the Central Coast target.
Kaine Shepherd came close for Heidelberg but things got worse for the visitors with midfielder Peter Triantis being subbed off due to injury 10 minutes before the break.
Sydney were denied early in the second 45 by Heidelberg keeper Griffin McMaster who spectacularly kept out Anthony Tomelic’s shot. He kept the home side in the game later in the half as the game opened up.
Late on Heidelberg sub Kostas Kanakaris set up Heffernan with a neat cut back but a second goal went begging with the striker screwing his effort wide.
The visitors made some late substitutions as Mark Rudan went for the all-important equaliser. But it was McMaster again who denied Matthew Bilic brilliantly.
Perfect timing as Heidelberg sub Kenny Athiu made a nuisance of himself to end Sydney United’s resistance by poking the ball over the line and send the home side into delirium.
What a night for the Melbourne club!
Lions FC 0
Perth Glory 1 (AET)
A 10-man Perth Glory have avoided a huge Cup boilover against third-tier outfit Lions FC, escaping with a 1-0 win after extra-time in front of more than 2500 fans at Perry Park.
Just when it looked like the match was headed to penalties, Chris Harold with just four minutes left in extra-time, slamming home at the second attempt after a great run by Gygory Sandor.
It was a cruel end for the brace Lions, who pushed the Hyundai A-League side all the way after Glory ‘keeper Jerrad Tyson was sent off inside six minutes by referee Peter Green.
After Lions striker Shoheel Khan raced through on goal, the gloveman recklessly hauled him down, conceding a clear penalty and earning an early shower.
But substitute ‘keeper Nicholas Feely spared Tyson’s blushes, acrobatically diving to his right to keep out Andre Bonotto’s spot kick.
Despite their numerical disadvantage Glory still dominated the first half. Richard Garcia had a header cleared off the line while Sidnei Sciola and Nebojsa Marinkovic went close from distance.
The chances came thick and fast in the second half as only a vital last-ditch block by Sandor denied Kado Aoci a goal while Chris Harold and Marinkovic both forced saves from Phil Zabaks down the other end.
It was thrilling, end-to-end stuff as the impressive Feely again denied Alex Janovsky from close range soon after while Sidnei wasted two glorious headed chances in normal time.
Harold had the best chance of the first period of extra-time as his thunderous shot from the edge of the box rattled the crossbar but his next involvement was more clinical to send Glory through.