Football NSW clubs ready for Round of 32

This year's Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 will feature at least three debutantes after Football New South Wales' Round 7 matches threw up some surprises.

APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Bankstown Berries and Hill Brumbies have each reached the Round of 32 for the first time, while Blacktown City FC will join Sydney United 58 FC, who won a straight passage courtesy of winning the PlayStation 4 NPL Final Series last year,  as entrants in the alst 32 for a fourth successive year.

APIA Leichhardt qualified after a titanic struggle against PS4 NPL 3 NSW side SD Raiders 2-1 at a packed Lambert Park. The classic encounter took a twist after the SD Raiders took a first half lead via a John Fahmi spot-kick before Michael West scored a last second penalty to send the game into extra time. The game was then destined for penalties before Paul Galimi popped up and scored with the last play of the game that sent the 1,000 plus spectators into raptures.

A chilly Wednesday evening saw the remaining four matches played with Bankstown Berries scoring arguably the upset of the round defeating PS4 NPL side Sydney Olympic 1-0 at the Crest.

Coached by a former Sydney Olympic youth player in Perry Moustakas, the Berries, a division below Olympic, took it to Peter Zorbas’ men and got their just reward in the 78th minute when 23-year-old Jake Bradshaw was the hero of the night scoring the only goal of the match.

Player/Manager Moustakas was proud of his charges and stated that this result and passage to the Round of 32 was one of the biggest achievements the club has experienced in its illustrious history.

“I told the boys before the match that should they win this game it would go down as one of the biggest results in the club’s history, they did just that and created some history of their own after the match thanks to that goal by Jake Bradshaw," said Moustakas.

“I am very delighted for the team as we now await our fate on who we will face in the next round.”

Illawarra Premier League side Bulli FC were outclassed by a quality Blacktown City outfit as Mark Crittenden’s men secured a 3-0 victory at Balls Paddock.

A double from an in-form Mitchell Mallia as well as a tidy finish by James Andrew confirmed the club’s status yet again amongst the big boys of the Australian game.

In the all PS4 NPL affair at the Illinden Sports Centre, it was Hakoah Sydney City East who reigned supreme knocking out Paul Reid’s men 3-1 after playing fifty minutes with ten men due to an Oliver Green red card.

Gavin Rae’s men got off to a flyer with early goals from Jordan Mundell and Oliver Green with Andre De Jong adding a third in the 52nd minute. The Suns did bang in a consolation goal late in the second half but it was a case of being too little too late as Hakoah Sydney City East qualified for its second ever Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 after the side took part in the inaugural tournament in 2014.

While finally at Russell Reserve at Rouse Hill, newly promoted PS4 NPL 2 outfit Hills Brumbies bamboozled Illawarra Premier League outfit Kemblawarra Dapto Fury FC 5-2 in a huge result for the Hills based club winning its first ever entry to the Round of 32.

It was one way traffic for Dan Sheppard’s men as they took a commanding 4-0 victory prior to the break with goals from Greg Giovenali, Nikolas Dimitriadis, Peter Cejka and Nathan Rayner.

Victor Anymiba added a fifth in the 69th minute before the South Coast visitors added two late goals via Van Elia and Shane Murray however the night belonged to the Hills Brumbies who recorded its finest achievement to date in its club’s history.

The Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 draw will be held at 3pm AEST on Thursday 29 June LIVE on FOXSPORTS.

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