Story of the FFA Cup 2018: Round of 32
The FFA Cup 2018 might just be the best edition in the tournament’s history.
With underdog stories, memorable performances and classic goals, Australia’s premier cup competition has thrilled the country from start to finish.
Come with us as we revisit each round and re-live the story of the FFA Cup 2018, starting from the national Round of 32!
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Cup specialists Bentleigh at it again
The night was meant to be the start of a brave new era for Mark Rudan’s Wellington Phoenix.
In the end, the occasion belonged to Bentleigh Greens as the NPL Victoria club claimed the FFA Cup 2018’s first major scalp in a 1-0 triumph.
Marko Jankovic’s textbook glancing header sent the Greens on their way, with goalkeeper Ryan Scott and the Bentleigh defence turning in a commanding performance against their Hyundai A-League opponents.
Before Bentleigh’s shock win, many other Member Federation clubs got the ball rolling with fellow NPL Victoria outfit Avondale turning heads in an impressive 4-1 win over Marconi Stallions.
Broadmeadow Magic and Adelaide Comets also got off to flyers following defeats of Canberra FC and Gwelup Croatia respectively.
Steve Corica’s Sydney era begins with Rockdale thriller
While take-off for Rudan’s new era was placed on delay, there was no teething issues for former Sydney FC teammate Steve Corica in his first match at the helm against Rockdale City Suns.
Corica’s Sky Blues were handed a rude shock early on when Rockdale opened the scoring through Harris Gaitatzis, but the cup holders steeled themselves and would eventually run out convincing 4-2 winners.
A fine start to the defence of Sydney FC’s crown - and on the same night 2017 Final opponents Adelaide United began their quest for revenge.
The Reds breezed past Central Coast Mariners 3-0 as the returning Craig Goodwin stole the show with an impressive performance.
Hellenic AC give Wanderers almighty scare
It was a footballing miracle that so nearly became reality.
Northern Territory outfit Hellenic AC were not given a prayer against former champions of Asia Western Sydney Wanderers. But it took a last-minute Roly Bonevacia goal to see the Red and Black through in a 4-3 thriller.
Despite eventually being knocked out, Hellenic twice drawing level with the Hyundai A-League giants will go down as one of the cup’s all-time great moments and should become a source of inspiration for Member Federation clubs for the years to come.
Fornaroli takes ultimate revenge with stunning strike
In August 2017, Bruno Fornaroli suffered a horror ankle injury that put him on the sidelines for half of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 campaign.
A year on from that heartbreak against Hakoah Sydney City East, the Uruguayan marked his first appearances back in the FFA Cup by scoring a last-gasp wondergoal against Brisbane Roar.
Fornaroli’s self-assisted dipping volley was a fitting way to win any match – and it’s a strike that might well take out this the FFA Cup 2018 goal of the year.