After slaying last year’s giant-killers, St George FC will be determined to take more teams to the sword in the FFA Cup 2019.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers stunned the nation in 2018 when they knocked out then-Hyundai A-League Champions Melbourne Victory but South Sydney outfit St George ensured their upset days were over in 2019.
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Featured image courtesy of stgeorgefootball.com.au
Brad Bartels - a former darling at APIA's Lambert Park - scored a 75th minute goal to seal a famous 1-0 triumph for the Saints, gaining a slice of revenge after APIA sent them crashing out of the preliminaries in 2018 before going on to topple Kevin Muscat's Victory.
The NPL New South Wales division 2 side followed up with a thumping 4-0 win at Dulwich Hill to confirm their booking in the Round of 32 for the first time in the club’s history.
The club with Hungarian roots can boast a National Soccer League title in 1983, but a run in the FFA Cup 2019 would be up there with their proudest achievements.
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Competition: National Premier Leagues New South Wales Division 2
Home ground: Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre
National Soccer League Champions 1983
NSL Playoff Winners 1982, 1987
NSW Champions 1962, 1972, 1976
NSW Grand Final Winners 1967, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1981
NSW Super League Champions 2013
NSW Super League Grand Final Winners 2013
Ampol Cup (Preseason) Winners 1960, 1967, 1972, 1975, 1982
NSW NPL 2 Champions 2018
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Originally named Budapest after the team was formed by Hungarian migrants, the club rose to the top flight of New South Wales football in 1958.
They landed their first championship four years later by a single-point margin from Hakoah Sydney City East and APIA, sparking Sydney rivalries that would last until the present day.
St George lay claim to be the first Australian club to win an international tournament, having beaten Japan, Japan’s B side and a Danish club Frem of Copenhagen in an invitational tournament in Japan in 1971.
Rale Rasic, the man who led the Caltex Socceroos to the 1974 World Cup, is a former coach and Johnny Warren, Robbie Slater and David Zdrilic are among St George’s alumni.
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He’s known as ‘The Special Juan’ around Saints territory, and Sydney United 58 must be wary of Juan Carlos Romero when the two NSW giants lock horns.
The Spaniard – who won Player of the Year in the NPL NSW 2 competition in 2017 - has plenty of X-factor in the final third, and a deadly finish to match.
Midfielder Brad Bartels has a fantastic engine on him, while striker Kevin Lopes knows how to find the back of the net.
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Round of 32 Match Details
St George FC v Sydney United 58
Date: Wednesday, 31 July 2019
Venue: Ilinden Sports Centre, Arncliffe, New South Wales
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEST
Click here for ticket details