Rockdale City Suns 2 Melbourne Victory 3

Rockdale City Suns 2

(Jesic 53’, Broxham OG 86’)

Melbourne Victory 3

(Makarounas 45’, 65', Berisha 50')

Melbourne Victory avoided what would have been a huge upset by holding off a gallant Rockdale City Suns to win 3-2 away from home in a memorable FFA Cup round-of-16 encounter on Tuesday night.

A first half of stout resistance and no little enterprise from Rockdale at Kogarah Oval was broken a minute before half-time when Daniel Georgievski exchanged a neat one-two with Fahid Ben Khalfallah before bursting into the penalty area and getting the ball to Jesse Makarounas, who picked out the far corner of the net expertly. 

The visitors made it 2-0 five minutes into the second half following a well-worked move from a set-piece, Ben Khalfallah's scooped pass finding the head of Besart Berisha, who made no mistake from close range.

The Suns got one back from the penalty spot on 53 minutes, Marko Jesic stroking the ball home from the spot after Thomas Deng was penalised - perhaps somewhat harshly - for handball.

The hosts' hopes of a comeback took a big blow in the 65th minute when Makarounas curled home another well-taken finish from just outside the area, the attacker completing his brace and restoring Victory's two-goal advantage.

The team coached by former A-League player Paul Reid refused to lie down, Nicholas Petrillo heading a deep corner back across goal and Leigh Broxham turning it into his own net to make it a nervy last four minutes for the league champions.