Gold Coast’s Palm Beach Sharks have booked a place in the Round of 32 following a 1-0 win over Caloundra FC.
Gold Coast’s Palm Beach Sharks have booked a place in the Round of 32 following a 1-0 win over Caloundra FC at Mallawa Complex on Saturday night.
In a typically hard-fought cup tie of few clear-cut chances, Jonathon Camilleri’s second-half strike proved decisive for the NPL Queensland league leaders.
Sharks controlled possession from the outset of the match but Caloundra fired the first shot of the night seven minutes in as Ray Schultz blazed wide of the target from distance.
Sharks forged their first opportunity – and best of the opening half – only a minute later when Daniel Grzic saw his dinked shot bounce back off Dale Hill’s near post, allowing the Caloundra goalkeeper to recover.
Further chances fell in quick time as Nic Mirkovic shot just wide following a Palm Beach breakaway and Grzic side-footed an attempt over the bar from outside the area.
On 23 minutes, striker Chris Lucas got behind the Caloundra line for the first time, however Steven Tangney showed good pace to shut down Sharks’ leading goal-scorer.
As the half progressed the visitors saw a greater share of possession and field position, however proved unable to create a clear scoring opportunity.
Shots also dried up for Sharks until the final minute of the half when Eoghan Murphy’s cross deflected favourably for Daniel Dragicevic only for the winger shoot over the bar.
The hosts again controlled possession following the restart and on 51 minutes had the breakthrough when Camilleri was given too much space and drilled home with his left foot.
As the hour passed, former Gold Coast United defender Kristian Rees headed wide from a corner before Grzic and Lucas both forced Hall to collect timid shots shortly after.
The hosts appeared content to hold their single goal advantage, and created little as the match drew entered the final quarter hour.
With ten minutes remaining Caloundra fashioned their first attempt of the second half as Daniel Bailey shot high and wide from outside the box.
Two late free-kicks offered the visitors a chance at taking the match into extra time but they again failed to trouble Shane Vitakangas in the Sharks goalmouth.
Sharks now await Friday’s Westfield FFA Cup draw to discover their next round opponent, including the potential of drawing high-profile Hyundai A-League clubs Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory or Western Sydney Wanderers.
Palm Beach Sharks 1 (Camilleri 51’)
Caloundra FC 0