An Aaron Mooy hat-trick has seen Melbourne City end the dream Westfield FFA Cup run of Heidelberg United, cruising to a 5-0 quarter-final win on Tuesday night.
An early goal to import Bruno Fornaroli got City off to a flyer before Mooy’s second half treble and another for the Uruguayan booked City’s spot in the last four in emphatic fashion.
While much of the focus was on what impact Heidelberg’s ex-Greek international Kostas Katsouranos would have, it was Mooy who stole the show and he now has six goals in the competition this year.
Katsouranis, who has 116 caps for Greece, showed glimpses of his pedigree but was unable to have a big influence on the match as City were totally dominant.
Olympic Village was bursting at the seams with the 11,372 fans – the second largest crowd in the competition’s history - producing a cracking atmosphere in the hope of seeing a huge Cup upset.
But the home support was left deflated inside the first two minutes as City scored the competition’s third-fastest ever goal via Fornaroli.
Youngster Wade Dekker deserves much of the credit, showing great skill to control Erik Paartalu’s long-ball before playing a one-two with Mooy and putting the ball on a plate for the Uruguayan score.
City’s superior quality was evident early on and they really should have had another couple of goals inside the first 15 minutes.
Mooy’s dipping free-kick was pawed away by Griffin McMaster while Fornaroli was only denied his second by the width of the post.
But out of nothing the PS4 NPL Victoria club was almost level, but for a world-class save by Tando Velaphi.
Nejc Kolman got in behind the City defence and squared to an on-rushing Kaine Sheppard who looked certain to score just six yards out only for a sprawling Velaphi to smother it away.
It was a rare scare for City who went back to dominating the contest.
The post again prevented the Hyundai A-League club extending their lead, with Conner Chapman the unlucky man this time from another Mooy corner.
City weren’t quite as effective or fluent going forward after the break as Heidelberg battled courageously to stay in the match.
But Mooy ended their resolve just after the hour mark, hitting a rasping drive from 25 metres out which arrowed into the bottom corner.
Four minutes later and the Socceroo midfielder had his second from a similar range, this time beating McMaster with his left foot with another impressive strike to add to his growing catalogue.
Mooy then rounded off his hat-trick six minutes from the end, in the right-place at the right time to poke home after Jack Clisby’s shot was only parried by McMaster, before Fornaroli put the icing on the cake in stoppage time.
Heidelberg United 0
Melbourne City 5
(Fornaroli 2’, 90+2’ Mooy 65’, 69’, 84)