The top five Cupsets in FFA Cup history

Everybody loves a Cupset and over the years, the FFA Cup has delivered some truly magical nights for the underdog. 

As we prepare to kick-off a long-awaited Round of 32 that will see more David v Goliath battles unfold than ever before, take a trip down memory lane and relive some of the best boilovers in the tournament's history. 

Sep 14 start date

Adelaide City 1-0 Western Sydney Wanderers - 2014 Round of 32

It did not take long for the first Cupset to amount during the competition's inaugural Round of 32 back in 2014. 

And it was the former NSL heavyweights Adelaide City who enjoyed their time back in the sum as they spectacularly toppled one of the pre-Cup favourites, the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Fresh off a runners-up finish, and of course a few months before going on to be crowned kings of Asia, the Red and Black would prove to be no match for their NPL SA counterparts. 

Adelaide City 2014

On an unforgettable night at the Marden Sports Complex, the two sides were split by a superb solo effort from Thomas Love, who converted with 15 minutes remaining to earn Damien Mori's side headlines across the nation. 

It was the first major shock in FFA Cup history, and Adelaide City, who are this year celebrating their 75th anniversary, will be hoping to do it all again when they host either the Melbourne Victory or Perth Glory in the upcoming 2021 Round of 32. 


Green Gully 2-1 Central Coast Mariners - 2016 Round of 32

Matchday two of the 2016 FFA Cup Round of 32 saw an absolutely blockbuster conclusion unfold, as NPL Victoria side Green Gully advanced at the expense of the Central Coast Mariners.

It was the A-League outfit who struck first through Blake Powell - who will be back in FFA Cup action this year leading the line for APIA Leichhardt in their Round of 32 clash with Cooma Tigers. 

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The Mariners found themselves within five minutes of advancement before Green Gully skipper Daniel Jones popped up to restore parity; and it looked as though the match was all but set to go the distance. 

But Liam Boland had other ideas. 

Green Gully striker Liam Boland celebrates his stunning winner against the Mariners.

Will less than 90 seconds to play in injury time, the striker picked up the ball off a cheap turnover from Roy O'Donovan, swiveled and perfectly struck a looping effort from long, long range.

The ball would loop into the back of the net, sealing an instantly iconic FFA Cup moment and a true Cupset to remember. 

Boland, the man responsible for it all, will be back in action on the opening night of the FFA Cup next week, pulling on a Hume City shirt as they host fellow Victorian outfit Port Melbourne Sharks. 

Redlands United 2-1 Adelaide United - 2016 Round of 32

Just as the football community was soaking up the incredible seens at Green Gully, FFA Cup magic would strike twice in the space of two days. 

And it was the second-oldest football club in Queensland, Redlands United, who pulled off the greatest shock in the club's history as they slayed reigning A-League Champions Adelaide United. 

All seemed to be sticking to the script when Ryan Kitto opened the scoring for the Reds in the 62nd minute. 

That was until a moment of madness with seconds remaining gifted the home side an equaliser, as Michael Lee took full advantage of a disastrous defensive mix-up to tap home into an empty net and send the tie to extra time. 

Paul O'Brien then converted in the 98th minute to turn the tides and spark jubilant full time scens at Perry Park. 

"When the Reds go marching in" bellowed out after the game, signifying a night to remember for the Reds of Redland and at the expense of the Reds from Adelaide. 

Blacktown City 3-2 Central Coast Mariners - 2017 Round of 32

Joey Gibbs was the name on everyone's lips as NPL NSW side Blacktown City trumped the Central Coast Mariners in a five-goal thriller at Lily Holmes Stadium back in 2017.

The former Sydney FC, Western Sydney Wanderers and Newcastle Jets striker who opened the scoring with a well-struck free kick less than two minutes, before Giorgio Speranza popped up to double the host's lead. 

A crowd of over 1100 fans were momentarily silenced as Kwabena Appiah scored on either side of half time to even the ledger, but Gibbs still had one more magical moment up his sleeve. 

With eight minutes to play, the marksman born on the Central Coast tucked home the winner to sink the Mariners. 

Fast forward to 2021, while Gibbs is now playing his football over in Iceland, the two sides are set to be reunited in the FFA Cup Round of 32. 

Can history repeat itself for Mark Crittenden's men? Only time will tell.

APIA Leichhardt 3-2 Melbourne Victory - 2018 Round of 16

In 2018, Sydney's inner west played host to a dramatic night that was a crowning moment in APIA Leichhardt's rich history. 

Three months after Melbourne Victory secured the A-League Championship in Newcastle, they were trumped by APIA Leichhardt in an epic 90-minute battle at Leichhardt Oval. 

The match followed a similar pattern to Blacktown's win over the Mariners; with the NPL NSW outfit finding themselves in dreamland with a first-half 2-0 lead. 

APIA's advantage came courtesy of a brace from Japanese maestro Tasuku Sekiya; however two goals in the space of six minutes from FFA Cup specialist Kenny Athiu would leave the sides level just after the hour mark. 

However there would be one last twist to the tale, as with ten minutes remaining Nathan Millgate rose highest to head home Franco Parisi's set piece - to the absolute delight of the passionate fans in the stands.  

APIA couldn't repeat the dose in the Quarter Finals against future Champions Adelaide, but will be back in the Round of 32 to try and go even further in 2021. 

A special mention must also go to the Brisbane Strikers and Bentleigh Greens, who defeated A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

After changes to the tournament's format in 2021, this year's Round of 32 draw revelaed an unporecedented eight Member Federations v A-League match-ups. 

Peninsula Power, Sydney Olympic, Broadmeadow Magic, Blacktown City, South Melbourne, Newcastle Olympic, Adelaide City and Floreat Athena will all be hoping to add themselves to the exclusive Cupset club in the weeks to come.