APIA's focus turns to FFA Cup after NSW NPL heartbreak

APIA Leichhardt will need to pick themselves up for next week's FFA Cup 2018 Round of 16 clash against Melbourne Victory after missing out on the NSW NPL Premiership over the weekend.

Only needing a win on the final day of the regular season to secure top spot, the Tigers slumped to a shock 2-1 loss at home against Hakoah Sydney City East to hand the Premiership to Sydney Olympic, who beat Sydney United 1-0.

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READ: FFA Cup 2018 Round of 16 fixtures, dates, times confirmed

APIA will take on United the opening week of the Finals Series in the NSW NPL before switching their focus to Tuesday night's blockbuster clash against the Hyundai A-League champions.

The match at Leichhardt Oval will be shown LIVE on Fox Sports and could feature Victory's new marquee man Keisuke Honda, who arrived in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Cairns FC, who are involved in the other Member Federation v Hyundai A-League clash on Tuesday when they host Sydney FC, also had a tough weekend in their competition in Queensland.

Cairns, who have the nephew of Sky Blues boss Steve Corica in their side, were crushed 6-0 by league-leaders Lions FC.

In Victoria, both Avondale FC and the Bentleigh Greens went head-to-head on Saturday ahead of their FFA Cup matches on Tuesday night.

And there was late drama as the Greens scored two goals in the last two minutes to steal a vital 2-1 win.

Avondale looked on course for a huge win when Joey Katebian scored with 21 minutes left but Bentleigh stormed home, with Matt Thurtell (88') and Chris Lucas (90') to remain in second spot on the ladder, four points behind Heidelberg United.


Bentleigh's form is ominous for their opponents from Northern NSW in Broadmeadow Magic, who lost ground in the race for their Premiership with a 3-0 loss against Hamilton Olympic.

While Devonport Strikers also suffered a loss over the weekend, going down 3-2 in a top-of-the-table clash against South Hobart.

Hobart struck three times in the first 30 minutes and then held on for the win to cut the gap to Devonport at the top of the ladder to just three points.

At least the Strikers have key attacker Brayden Mann in strong form, with the FFA Cup specialist scoring both of his side's goals in the defeat, taking his season tally to 31.