Ecstatic Hume City coach Lou Acevski has praised his side's “unbelievable character” after their gripping 3-2 extra-time quarter-final win over Oakleigh Cannons in the Westfield FFA Cup on Tuesday night at a freezing ABD Stadium in Melbourne.
In a pulsating clash, Hume came from behind twice to force extra-time before Marcus Schroen poked home a 118th-minute winner.
The Cannons led for much of the night, opening the scoring inside three minutes via Sean Rooney, only to be pegged back 14 minutes later by Theo Markelis.
Dean Piemonte put the visitors in front again 11 minutes before the break but Hume’s fighting spirit wouldn’t be denied as Markelis got a deserved second six minutes from the end.
Despite dominating extra-time it looked like Hume would be forced to a penalty shoot-out before Schroen left another indelible mark on the competition.
“As a spectator you love to watch those games week in, week out but as a coach you hate those games,” a relived Acevski told Fox Sports afterwards.
“The character was unbelievable to again come from 2-1 down.
“We were creating so many opportunities to kill the game early. There’s no other words but unbelievable for the boys.”
Schroen has now scored in every round of the competition for Hume, who are the first state federation club into this year’s semi-finals.
While admitting Schroen’s goal was decisive, Acevski couldn’t fault any of his players.
“I thought [skipper] Nick Hegarty was exceptional tonight. He was everywhere,” the Hume boss said.
“Theo Markelis again, Jai Ingham again and [‘keeper] Chris Oldfield kept us in the game with a few very good saves.
“It’s full credit to everybody.”
Fellow PS4 NPL Victoria club Heidelberg United will be hoping to join Hume in the semi finals of the Cup when they take on Hyundai A-League club Melbourne City in the last eight next Tuesday night. Perth Glory host Western Sydney Wanderers FC in the other quarter-final.