Knights' houdini act the highlight in day of upsets

Saturday afternoon at KGV was the embodiment of everything that makes Cup football such a compelling format as two of Tasmania's heavyweights were sent packing.

The Glenorchy Knights and Devonport Strikers played out an absolute classic as the Knights rallied back from two goals down to win a dramatic penalty shoot out 4-3. 

The post game pandemonium, featuring a full blown pitch invasion showed just what it meant it to the club and their supporters.

Two years ago this club was battered and bruised, bounced from the top division and facing some long soul searching. To their tremendous credit the club has turned things around and now they face the prospect of a Lakoseljac Cup Semi Final. 

It didn't look like it would be that way. At half time it was 2-0 and the Strikers had looked by the far the superior side. Brayden Mann had continued with his affinity for this competition by chalking up a Birthday brace to cap off a superb individual performance and the Strikers were moving the ball around beautifully.

The Knights unsurprisingly looked like a side who were not used to opponents of this calibre  but in the second half they looked a much better unit. Franco Previdi shuffled his deck and introduced Declan Brown and the extra pace and threat he offered from wide areas proved a game changer.

If the game at KGV was the embodiment of the magic of the cup, then the embodiment of the phrase "A week is a long time in football" was at Buckby Landrover Park.

Smashed from pillar to post 7-1 by a 10 man South Hobart side last Sunday, Launceston City turned the tables and pulled off a stunning upset. Seconds away from elimination in the Round of 16 before a late equaliser, the City boys pulled another rabbit out of the hat to find themselves in the semi finals of the competition.

After Dylan Williams had given City an early lead, Kobe Kemp appeared to have restored normality when he equalised on the half hour mark, but this week the City defence was not going to capitulate as they had six days earlier. The Northerners defended stoutly and when Nathan Bartlett put them ahead on 70 minutes the upset was on! South pushed hard for a leveller but it was not to be as City pulled off an incredible upset to ensure that Tasmania will have a new representative in the FFA Cup in 2017. 

One of the favourites to be that side is the NPL leading Olympia Warriors, who ensured Nelson's dream run came a crashing halt. The Warriors demonstrated the gulf between the side as they belted 12 past them in what quickly became the Jakub Sklenar show.

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Quarter Final Results

Olympia Warriors 12 (Jakub Sklenar 12’, 20’, 21’, 44’, 53’, 55’, Warren Wadawu 27’, Hugh Undy 58’, 75’, 77’, Nick Meredith 82’, 87’) Nelson 0

Glenorchy Knights 2 (Ethan Engels 61' Ben Phillips 90+2') Devonport 2 (Brayden Mann 29', 35') (Glenorchy Knights won 4-3 on Penalties)

Launceston City 2 (Dylan Williams 5', Nathan Bartlett 70') South Hobart 1 (Kobe Kemp 33')

Hobart Zebras 6 (Mathew Sanders 7’, 50’, Dwayne Walsh 25’, Luke Huigsloot 38’, Adam McKeown 43’, 72’) Clarence United 0