The FFA Cup Round of 16 returns with an all-Queensland affair on Sunday as local powerhouse Lions FC plot a ‘Cupset’ over Brisbane Roar in an exciting Brisbane Derby.
Lions Stadium at Richlands will provide the setting as both the Lions and the Roar seek to advance to the FFA Cup Quarter Final stage for the first time in their respective histories.
A dominant force in recent NPL Queensland seasons, the hosts’ two prior appearances at this stage of the competition ended in disappointment in 2018 (v Adelaide United) and 2015 (v Perth Glory).
But the Lions are showing they mean to put an end to that unwanted record in 2021 – losing just once and amassing a stunning 42 goals in their past dozen games in all competitions dating back to July.
That run included their no-nonsense 6-0 win over the Northern Territory’s Casuarina FC in the FFA Cup Round of 32 a month ago.
Five goal scorers shared in the spoils for Lions that night – with crafty attacking midfielder Jordan Farina, the son of Socceroos legend Frank Farina, leading the returns with a brace.
Also on the scoresheet was former A-League Men star Jean Carlos Solorzano, and his experience will be complemented by youngsters Finn Beakhurst and Zach Maltby, who also scored against Casuarina.
While goal-machine Max Mikkola will also be looking to mark his mark on the national stage after smashing in 22 goals in the current NPL Queensland campaign.
But should anyone know the threat posed by the NPL Queensland club it is Brisbane Roar coach Warren Moon, who guided the club to back-to-back National Premier Leagues Grand Finals before stepping into the A-League fold.
He made a winning start in his maiden FFA Cup campaign with the Roar in the Round of 32 – accounting for local NPL side Peninsula Power 3-0 last month.
There were promising signs that night for the club’s off-season recruits with German midfielder Matti Steinmann and Argentine striker Juan Lescano getting amongst the goals at Moreton Daily Stadium.
Since then the Roar have continued to find the back of the net in pre-season, and strengthened their attack further with the addition of local starlet Jez Lofthouse, who previously lit up the FFA Cup with Olympic FC.
While steady performers Tom Aldred, Scott Neville, Corey Brown and Jack Hingert will be aiming for a second straight competitive clean sheet ahead of the A-League Men season start in late November.
It’s a Brisbane derby that promises plenty of intrigue, plenty of drama and plenty of orange in the stands, and it will be live and free via Ten Play.
Lions FC v Brisbane Roar
Date: Sunday, 24 October 2021, 3:30pm local, 4:30pm AEDT
Venue: Lions Stadium, Brisbane
Broadcast: Live & free via 10 Play
Tickets: Buy here