The FFA Cup Preliminary Rounds are heating up right around the country as member federation clubs close-in on their shot on the national stage.
Australia’s largest knockout competition never disappoints and the recent preliminary round matches have continued to throw up late winners, thrilling comebacks and plenty of drama.
READ MORE: Brilliant comebacks the backdrop as fresh FFA Cup drama beckons
READ AND WATCH: On the road to the FFA Cup Final 2019
And there’s set to be even more in the coming days and weeks as we edge closer to the Round of 32.
Read on for a recap of the latest action and a look ahead at the key clashes coming your way.
Tigers Roar in seven-goal thriller in NSW
Round 6 matches in NSW began on Wednesday night and it provided highlights aplenty, with none bigger than the match at North Turramurra between NPL2 sides Northern Tigers and Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
The White Eagles fought back from 3-1 down to level the scores in the second half – only to be eliminated by a last-gasp winner from the home side (see the goal below).
READ MORE: Round 6 matches confirmed in NSW
NPL heavyweights Marconi Stallions and Rockdale City Suns also progressed with wins on Wednesday evening.
The last seven games of Round 6 will be played next Tuesday and Wednesday night, including Sydney Olympic’s trip to Nepean FC as we continue on our Road to the FFA Cup Final.
Whoever wins that tie will then become the focus of our next-round coverage.
NPL heavyweights face-off in Northern NSW
The cream seems to be rising to the top in Northern NSW, with a host of NPL big guns still in contention as we head into Round 5 fixtures next week.
But the journey of one of those clubs will end on Tuesday night when Lambton Jaffas and Broadmeadow Magic do battle at Arthur Edden Oval.
The two sides met in the NPL on the weekend with the Magic prevailing 1-0 and this winner-takes-all tie is likely to be just as tight.
Charlestown City Blues, Hamilton Olympic and Edgeworth Eagles all face tricky away matches on Wednesday night (May 22) but will fancy their chances of progressing to Round 6.
Massive match-ups ahead in Victoria
The next couple of weeks will be decisive in Victoria as we enter Round 7 and edge ever-so-close to a berth in the Round of 32 draw.
Hume City, who pulled off a crazy 5-4 win over Heidelberg United in the previous round, will do battle with another NPL heavyweight in Bentleigh Greens on Wednesday, May 29.
The standout fixture of Round 7 – to be played 24 hours earlier – sees Melbourne Knights host unbeaten NPL leader Avondale FC.
Giant-killers Eltham Redbacks – who knocked out Pascoe Vale in Round 5 – face another big challenge against NPL outfit Altona Magic, while there’s two games next Wednesday night, including former FFA Cup Semi Finalists South Melbourne against Langwarrin SC.
Four sides remain in ACT
There’s four teams left in the nation’s capital after Round 5 fixtures were completed last week.
Canberra FC remain alive after seeing off Canberra Olympic 1-0, while Tigers FC and ANU FC both had solid home wins.
Tuggeranong United, who advanced to the Round of 16 in 2014, are also through to the semis in the ACT.
The Round 6 draw was held on Thursday with Tuggeranong United to play Tigers FC, while ANU FC will take on Canberra FC.
Adelaide City up for a battle
We are down to the last eight teams in South Australia with the four quarter-finals to be played on Tuesday, May 21 and Wednesday, May 22.
Adelaide City, who became the first-ever NPL side to beat Hyundai A-League opposition when they knocked out Western Sydney Wanderers in the Round of 32 back in 2014, take on fellow NPL outfit Croydon Kings.
Meanwhile, Adelaide Comets and Raiders meet in the only other all-NPL match-up, while MetroStars face South Australia’s fairytale story so far in Elizabeth Downs.
Darwin Olympic end Hellenic’s run
Hellenic AC almost eliminated Western Sydney Wanderers in the Round of 32 in 2018 but there will be no chance of a repeat after their 3-2 loss to Darwin Olympic on Tuesday night.
That’s the only match played in Round 5 in the Top End so far, with two more games to come on Tuesday, May 21.
Those matches see University Azzurri welcome Port Darwin to Darwin Football Stadium, while Verdi FC are at home to Stormbirds SC.
Games coming thick and fast in Queensland
We have seen 14 goals scored across three Round 6 matches played over the last few days in Queensland, including Mackay Magpies’ 4-2 win over local rivals Mackay Wanderers on Tuesday night.
Elsewhere, Brisbane Strikers outclassed Eastern Suburbs 4-1 on Tuesday, while Bluebirds United edged past Capricorn Coast 2-1 on Saturday.
There’s still seven more games to come in Round 6, including the all-NPL clash between Gold Coast Knights and leaders Peninsula Power on Friday, May 24.
Olympic FC host Palm Beach Sharks in another clash between two clubs with a strong history in the FFA Cup, while Moreton Bay United are on the road at Surfers Paradise Apollo.
Shootout drama and goals galore in Tasmania
The quarter-finals were held in Tassie last weekend with the pick of the games seeing NPL league-leaders Devonport Strikers see-off Hobart Zebras, but only via a shootout.
The Strikers won 4-3 on penalties thanks to two saves from keeper Nathan Pitchford to move into the last four, where they will take on Championship side University, who thumped Somerset 5-0.
READ MORE: Big guns collide in Tasmania
South Hobart also scored five to easily account for Taroona, setting up a blockbuster battle with Olympia Warriors who were too strong for Riverside, winning 3-1.
Both semi-final ties in the Apple Isle will be played on Saturday, May 25.
Cockburn City looking to crow at Bayswater’s expense
FFA Cup preliminary round action takes centre stage in WA on Saturday, with eight clashes to be played around the state.
Bayswater City host Cockburn City in the only all-NPL match-up, while Sorrento FC take on last year’s FFA Cup representatives Gwelup Croatia.
Elsewhere, Floreat Athena and Perth SC must negotiate potential banana skin ties against Olympic Kingsway and Balga SC respectively.
READ AND WATCH: On the road to the FFA Cup Final 2019