The final mach day of the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 delivered another dose of FFA Cup-style entertainment and a fairytale return for a forgotten striker. Here’s what happened.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1
Brisbane Roar 0
A fairytale return for GolGol Mebrahtu helped the Wanderers to a hard-earned victory over an impressive Brisbane Roar in an intense FFA Cup clash at Pepper Stadium.
Brisbane dominated the opening stages on a great surface and should’ve been one up inside 22 minutes. A mistake from new Wanderers gloveman Andrew Redmayne from a low cross spilled the ball to the feet of Roar’s Borrello but he was unable to poke home an opener as Scott Jamieson cleared the danger.
Wanderers’ best attack came on the cusp of half-time with Nichols’ elegant through ball finding Mark Bridge. The ball eventually spilled tol Mebrahtu but his shot flew well over the bar. Half-time and it was 0-0 with a cohesive Roar impressing against a new Wanderers side still finding their feet.
The Red and Black started the second half in determined mood as they put Roar’s back four under intense pressure. It was end-to-end stuff as the game really opened up.
A well-worked Roar free-kick almost opened the scoring just inside the hour while Broich profited from defensive sloppiness but McLaren’s low shot was easily dealt with by Redmayne.
The increasingly dangerous Mebrahtu was put through by Nichols and he smashed a shot that Young brilliantly tipped over the box.
But the striker who was out of the game for over a year wasn’t to be denied.
With 22 minutes to go, great lead up play from Baccus and Castelen put Mebrahtu through and he stroked it home much to the delight of the 6000 plus crowd.
Both sides battled in the final stages of the game after an intense 70 minutes of Cup football. Bridge should’ve made it 2-0 but his header from straight in front skidded wide as the Posnan went around the ground.
Roar sub Yango thought he’d scored with a sublime flick but it was disallowed by the referee.
It wasn’t to be Brisbane’s night as they conceded a penalty by Borrello on McDonald minutes later.
But in a twist, Bridge took the spot kick but Young went the right way to keep Brisbane in the game.
Andreu came off injured in time added on with a knee injury, a sour ending to a happy night for the Red and Black who now enter the round of 16.
Central Coast Mariners 0
Wellington Phoenix 1
The Mariners were the architects of their own downfall after a goalkeeper howler and a missed penalty saw Central Coast lose to Wellington in Gosford.
After a bright start in front of a good crowd, Ferreira was denied for the home side with Phoenix keeper Glenn Moss getting down smartly to his right to stop a certain goal on 13 minutes.
But it went horribly wrong for the Mariners minutes later.
Debut keeper Paul Izzo dithered too long on a back pass and the speedy Kwabena Appiah-Kubi nipped into pinch the ball off his feet to open the scoring for Phoenix.
A couple of yellows (Rieira and Ascrof) followed but no further goals in an entertaining first half.
Ferreira was a consistent outlet in the second half as the home side pushed as the crowd of just over 6,000 willed an equaliser.
But the Mariners kept coming and and won a penalty on 82 minutes. However with the pressure on, new signing striker Roy O’Donovan hit the bar to break the home fans’ hearts as their Cup dream ended at the first hurdle.
Newcastle Jets 2
(Carney 24’, Haliti 115’)
Perth Glory 2 (AET, win 4-3 on penalties)
(Sciola 88’, Marinkovic 92’)
A brave Perth Glory recorded a thrilling come-from-behind penalty shootout win over Newcastle Jets at Magic Park.
After scores were locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes and 2-2 at the end of extra-time, new recruit Gyorgy Sandor converted the decisive penalty to hand Glory a 4-3 win in the shootout.
The Jets started brightly and took a deserved lead in the 24th minute through winger David Carney. The former Socceroo dispossessed Antony Golec inside the Glory half before calmly slotting past onrushing keeper Jerrad Tyson to make it 1-0.
The Glory worked their way back into the contest and were unfortunate not to equalise on the stroke of half-time with Dino Djulbic’s close-range header rebounding off the crossbar.
Perth enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the second stanza and deservedly equalised in the 88th minute with Sidnei Sciola prodding home from close-range to force extra-time.
The Glory went ahead just two minutes into the extra period with Nebo Marinkovic converting from the penalty spot after Antony Golec was brought down inside the area.
The Jets pushed for an equaliser and were rewarded five minutes from full-time with Labinot Haliti finishing from close range after a superb cross from David Carney.
But three missed spot kicks in the shootout proved costly for the hosts as the Glory advance to the Round of 16.
Oakleigh Cannons 1 (AET, win 5-4 on penalties)
Far North Queensland Heat 1
The Heat enjoyed the best chance of a tight first half four minutes before the break, impressive playmaker Crios O'Hare breaking down the right and finding Joshua Pin, who saw his shot to the far corner of the Oakleigh goal saved by John Honos.
The hosts had the better of the second half, Jake Mclean hitting the post with a half-volley, while Mirjan Pavlovic and Sean Rooney were both guilty of missing presentable chances.
While neither side could find a way through in the regulation 90, it took just three minutes of extra-time for Dean Piemonte to give Oakleigh the lead, the substitute curling home a stunning free-kick from long range.
A late Heat siege on the Cannons' goal saw the pressure continually build, midfielder Jamie Gosling sending it to penalties when he dispatched a curling shot to the far corner with John Honos getting a hand to it but unable to keep it out in a dramatic end to the game.
In the shootout, a panenka from Pavlovic was the highlight as the home side squeezed home after Thomas Massey-Stumpe missed his kick for Heat.
The Cannons now have a Round of 16 clash to look forward to but for Heat, it was a tough way to end a long journey.