The Westfield FFA Cup’s first four games in the Round of 32 were played. Epic drama unfolded with shootouts, comebacks and fantastic goals. Here’s what happened.
Palm Beach Sharks 1 (win 8-7 on penalties).
Matik (p 38’)
South Melbourne 1
Palm Beach’s love-affair with the Westfield FFA Cup has continued after they beat South Melbourne in a gripping penalty shoot-out 8-7 at Cbus Super Stadium on Wednesday night.
After scores were locked at 1-1 after extra-time, goal-keeper Shane Viitakangas was the hero saving two spot kicks in the shoot-out.
He first denied Stephen Hatzikostas before keeping out South skipper Michael Eager’s attempt in sudden-death to send the home fans into raptures.
After a frenetic opening half an hour it was the visitors who produced the breakthrough from the prolific Milos Lujic.
The impressive Nicholas Epifano spotted a surging run from Bradley Norton who got to the byline and clipped a cross to the far post where Lujic rose to power in his header.
It was just what the few hundred South fans who had travelled north wanted to see but their celebrations lasted less than four minutes.
South Melbourne ‘keeper Nikola Roganovic inexplicably barged Rees Duncan down in the box for a penalty, which was coolly converted by Florian Matik.
Both sides had chances to win it in normal time before the Sharks had to survive 12 minutes of extra-time with just 10 men after defender Eoghan Morgan was given a second yellow card after a tangle with Andrija Kecojevic.
But it mattered little as Viitakangas came up big for the home side to send them through to the last 16.
Hume City 4
Hegarty (3'), Schroen (90’ + 1, 106’) Henslee (OG 120’)
Henslee (23') Coulson (90’, 103’)
Hosts Hume City started brightly and were rewarded with the opening goal in the third minute.
Nick Hegarty in the centre of the penalty area was able to guide a side-foot finish over goalkeeper Fraser Chalmers.
Undeterred by going behind so early, the Strikers grew into the contest and were level in the 23rd minute, when centre-back Greig Henslee met Greg King's free-kick and sent a header looping beyond Chris Oldfield in the Hume goal.
Scot Coulson looked set to break Hume hearts when he put the visitors from Queensland ahead in the last minute of normal time, his shot sneaking under the body of Oldfield.
But the hosts produced an instant reply through midfielder Marcus Shroen, who rose highest to equalise with a header less than 60 seconds later, sparking wild celebrations among the home crowd and sending the match to extra-time.
In a bizarre carbon copy of the dramatic conclusion to the regulation 90, Coulson seized on a defensive error to race in on goal and restore the Strikers' lead.
Hume clearly had no intention of going quietly though, Shroen heading home again to get Hume City back on levels terms just before half-time in extra-time.
And in an incredible finish an own goal from Henslee gave Hume a remarkable 4-3 victory on an incredible night for Hume.
What a night...
Blacktown City 1
MetroStars SC 2
Negus (60’) Callisto (78’)
The rampant City showed their form in the PS4 NPL NSW could be transferred to the Cup as the league leaders dominated the opening 45 minutes against their South Australian opponents. But they were in for a second half surprise.
After a number of chances in the first 45, former Sydney FC striker Mitch Malia got on the burst down the right and his low ball into the box was swept home by Patrick Antelmi to open the scoring.
It was 1-0 to the home side at half-time against a MetroStars side clearly missing key striker Perry Mitris.
But the SA club came out and hit back quickly, and after dominating the opening 10 minutes it was Jonathan Negus who got his head onto a perfect cross to power home the equaliser.
And in a game of two halves, Rocky Callisto bundled home the second to give MetroStars the advantage with 15 minutes to go.
City looked shell-shocked. MetroStars sensed a famous win on the road.
And the reigning national PS4 NPL champions saw it through for a fantastic win for the Klemzig club.
Heidelberg United 3
Petrie (21’), Sheppard (24’), Heffernan (37’)
The ‘Bergers put aside the distraction of keeper Griffin McMaster being stood down an hour before the game for offensive tweets to blow away Magic in a scintillating first-half performance.
Clinical finishing saw the visitors 3-0 up at the break to virtually guarantee their progress against a shell-shocked Magic.
The standout courtesy of Jack Petrie with the Queenslander’s long-range rocket an early contender for goal of the Cup. Heidelberg worked the corner well and with Petrie in way too much space some 25 metres out, he smashed it home.
At 3-0 at the break and it looked all over. Or was it?
Scott Pettit bundled home an ugly goal after some poor defence to give Magic some hope of a magical comeback.
But it wasn’t to be with the Victorian club running out deserved winners.