FFA Cup wrap: goals and heroics

The Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 match day 2 was played on Tuesday night with another dose of FFA Cup drama. Here’s what happened.

Balmain Tigers 0

Melbourne Victory 6

(Berisha 11’, Pain 41’, Barbarouses 56’, Georgievski 59’, Howard 70’, Ben Khalfallah 84’)

It was always going to be a monumental ask for the part-timers from Balmain to go with the Hyundai A-League champions but they were far from disgraced at a boisterous Leichhardt Oval in the FFA Cup Round of 32.

The Tigers’ resistance lasted almost 11 minutes before Besart Berisha started and finished a clinical move to open the scoring.

But the goal didn’t rattle the battlers from the ‘burbs as they stayed right in the contest. Berisha then squandered three great chances to extend the lead, before Connor Pain did just that four minutes before the break as he swept home Jason Geria’s cross.

Victory’s class would eventually wear the brave Tigers down after the break though. Kosta Barbarouses and Daniel Georgievski added goals in quick succession within 15 minutes of the restart.

Youngster George Howard replaced Berisha and soon after had his first senior goal, before some Fahid Ben Khalfallah brilliance capped a cracking night of Cup football in front of an incredible crowd of almost 5000.

Edgeworth FC 1 (Hammel 26’)

Melbourne City FC 2 (Mooy 35’, 90' + 3)

Melbourne City FC survived a major scare after being forced to come from behind to down part-timers Edgeworth FC 2-1 in a thrilling Westfield FFA Cup encounter.

A stunning double from Aaron Mooy, including a thumping free-kick in the dying stages, proved the difference as City avoided an embarrassing Round of 32 exit.

John van ’t Schip’s side started brightly but spurned a series of opportunities in the opening 20 minutes as the Eagles’ defence held firm.

And it was the hosts who took a shock lead on 26 minutes with Bren Hammel netting from the penalty spot after City captain Patrick Kisnorbo gave away a clumsy foul inside the box.

City hit back less than 10 minutes later with Aaron Mooy smashing a stunning free kick from 25 minutes which left Eagles keeper Ben Smith rooted to the spot.

The hosts grew in confidence in the second half and appeared to rattle their Hyundai A-League opposition with their speed and directness in the front third.

But a clumsy foul on the edge of the box deep into stoppage time proved costly for the Eagles, with Mooy hitting home a rasping drive to steal the win for the visitors.

Gungahlin United 0

Sydney Olympic 1

Gaitatzis (82’)

At kick off time and with the temperature dropping to three degrees in the national capital, a hardy crowd of just over 1600 saw the home side shrug off the chilly weather and start well on a heavy pitch. 

But Olympic’s Soeda had the best chance of the early stages with a shot from distance denied by keeper Jason Denham on 24 minutes.

Dustin Wells with a good opportunity for Gungahlin but with the two keepers in eye-catching form, the sides went into the sheds deadlocked at 0-0.

Both sides went to their benches in the second stanza and Olympic pushed for the winner and sure enough, it was Michael Gaitatzis with a moment of magic who got on the scoresheet on 82 minutes.

His left foot bomb from the edge of the box after a cut-in arrowing into the goal to send Olympic into raptures. The Sydney club held on in the freezing conditions for a hard-earned and famous FFA Cup win.

Sydney United 58 3 (AET, 3-1 on penalties)

 (Nikas 59', 70', C Triantis 80')

South Hobart 3

(Hunt 27', Mann 47', Hess 86')

Sydney United 58 eased the pressure on head coach Mark Rudan with a penalty shootout victory over South Hobart to reach the FFA Cup round of 16.

Following a thrilling 3-3 draw and goalless extra-time period at Edensor Park, Anthony Tomelic, Panny Nikas and Chris Triantis all scored from the spot to secure a 3-1 shootout win for the 2013 National Premier Leagues winners.

The visitors from Tasmania's Victory League opened the scoring against the run of play and on the counter-attack in the 27th minute, Chris Hunt converting Hugh Undy's cross at the back post. They doubled their lead two minutes into the second half through Brayden Mann, who raced onto a pinpoint Oscar Thomas long ball to poke the ball past goalkeeper Justin Pasfield.

Panny Nikas got one back for the hosts just before the hour mark when he curled home a free-kick from left flank. They were level with 20 minutes to go thanks to Chris Triantis, who embarked on a brilliant run from within his own half, beating three men and feeding Mark Cindric. The substitute picked out Nikas for the forward to equalise.

It looked like Sydney United had won it with 10 minutes to go, when Triantis connected with a loose ball at the top of the penalty area and powered home a well-taken finish across goal and into the far corner to make it 3-2. South Hobart refused to give up though, substitute Alfred Hess heading home another Undy cross to level again and send the tie to extra-time.

Neither side could find a winner in the additional 30 minutes, which saw the away team's Daniel Brown receive his marching orders for a second bookable offence.