Palm Beach Sharks’ Westfield FFA Cup hero Shane Viitakangas has paid tribute to South Melbourne after the teams’ epic Round of 32 clash on the Gold Coast this week.
The gritty Sharks defeated a classy South Melbourne in the shootout after scores were locked 1-1 after extra-time.
Sharks keeper Viitakangas becoming an overnight FFA Cup hero with his heroics throughout the game.
The giant glovesman was in fine form during the game and saved two spot kicks in the shoot-out to propel the Gold Coast side into the Round of 16 of the FFA Cup 8-7 on penalties.
South Melbourne dominated large parts of the game and showed their quality with striker Milos Lujic a danger throughout at Cbus Stadium.
But the Sharks showed their customary fight and grit to hold on with 10 men after a red card late in the game to win it in the shootout.
And the significance of this FFA Cup win wasn’t lost on Viitakangas who can now look forward to another FFA Cup tie in around a month's time in the Round of 16.
“To have come up against South Melbourne, one of the biggest clubs, it sort of puts Palm Beach on the map,” he told www.theffacup.com.au
“It’s like, ‘wow, we beat South Melbourne’. They are South Melbourne. It’s a huge buzz.
"It’s good for the club and good for the NPL in Queensland.
“It shows we have the quality up here to keep up with the Victorian league and possibly the NSW league.
"So it’s a real big buzz for Palmy.”
Prior to the shootout, won Viitakangas discussed tactics with the club’s second keeper.
“He said defenders are more likely to shoot to their left if they’re right-footed.
“So I was just thinking about that. The first penalty went to the right and I managed to push it over the bar.
“Then I was on a high from there and the adrenaline took over from there.”
FOX SPORTS will have a full broadcast of the Match of the Day and will stream all other non-broadcast matches online at www.foxsports.com.au/football/ffa-cup/ffacupondemand and Apple TV via FOX SPORTS Now.