Raising money and scoring goals: relive the best NAB Golden Goals of FFA Cup 2018
A total of $32,500 has been raised for Member Federations clubs during this year’s FFA Cup 2018.
That’s all down to the NAB Golden Goals initiative, which sees NAB reward Member Federation clubs for finding the back of the net against Hyundai A-League opposition to the tune of $2,500 per goal.
With Bentleigh Greens' Semi Final exit confirming no more Member Federation clubs left in this year's line up, we're winding back the highlights reel and remembering every NAB Golden Goal scored during the FFA Cup 2018.
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Member Federation clubs rifled in a total of 13 goals against Hyundai A-League opposition when the Round of 32 began back in July.
That’s a big increase on the nine goals that were scored by Member Federation clubs against the big boys in the 2017 tournament.
The goals were shared around the country two, with six goals coming from NPL NSW, three from NPL Victoria, three from Northern Territory's Norzone Premier League and one from the NPL QLD.
ROUND OF 32: FREE-SCORING ROCKDALE AND CAIRNS FALL JUST SHY
The floodgates were opened when Rockdale City Suns breached the normally resolute defence of FFA Cup 2017 holders Sydney FC in the Round of 32.
That saw Harris Gaitatzis stun Steve Corica’s side early on, with Toufic Alameddine netting in the 76th minute as Sydney ran out 4-2 winners.
An FFA Cup upset may have evaded Rockdale, but Bentleigh Greens claimed the first big shock of the competition when they beat Wellington Phoenix 1-0.
The Greens would eventually be knocked out in the Semi Finals by Adelaide United, but not before Marco Jankovic’s bullet header against the Phoenix capped a giant-killing display from the NPL Victoria outfit.
But perhaps the biggest story of the national round arrived in Cairns, where little Hellenic Athletic knocked three past former champions of Asia, Western Sydney Wanderers.
Markus Babbel’s side looked to be on their way after establishing a 2-0 lead after 10 minutes, but a stunning comeback was ignited by Daniel Smith late in the first half.
That left Sulav Maskey’s to steal the show in the second stanza, with his delightful dink over Wanderers shot stopper Danijel Nizic the pick of the goals – and perhaps one of the goals of the tournament.
ROUND OF 16: SEKIYA'S BRACE LEADS CHARGE
The goals continued to flow in the Round of 16, which saw APIA Leichhardt hit three past Melbourne Victory in a 3-2 win, and supply one of the competition's greatest ever upsets.
That result was highlighted by Tasuku Sekiya's classy double, which saw the Japanese star strike two excellent finishes in each half.
Kenny Athiu's quickfire brace restored parity but a looping header from Nathan Millgate gave APIA a stunning FFA Cup win, and a sizeable contribution to the NAB Golden Goals tally.
Sekiya and APIA's heroics overshadowed two other excellent goals from Member Federation clubs in the Round of 16 - Ryan Cavanagh's super hit for Cairns FC against Sydney FC, and Tynan Diaz's cracking free kick for Bonnyrigg White Eagles against Western Sydney Wanderers.
QUARTER FINALS: BOLAND'S BRACE SENDS AVONDALE OUT WITH A BANG
Avondale came so close to pulling off another miracle result in this year’s FFA Cup 2018 competition.
Trent Buhagiar’s brace had opponents Sydney 2-0 up and cruising at the half time break in their Quarter Final clash, but Avondale’s Liam Boland had other ideas.
The Avengers front man pulled a goal back with a lovely strike from outside the area before equalising from close range.
Although Avondale were eventually felled 4-2, it was a fitting way for the swashbuckling NPL Victoria side to bow out and, with it, conclude a fantastic FFA Cup tournament for the Member Federation clubs.