Gwelup Croatia and Armadale will be Western Australia’s FFA Cup representatives after securing passage to the national round draw following preliminary round victories on Monday night.
Current first division leaders Gwelup booked their ticket to the Round of 32 with a 4-1 hammering of Floreat Athena, claiming their third NPL WA scalp en route to the national stage.
Benjamin Kouakou was the hero for Gwelup after clinching two sublime free-kicks with Victor Brauner and David Heagney completing the rout at Croatian Sporting Complex.
“We’ve worked very hard to get to this stage,” Kouakou told Football West.
“I’m very proud of my teammates and very proud of the supporters.”
Gwelup will be joined in the round of 32 by Armadale who defeated ECU Joondalup in a 3-2 thriller at Alfred Skeet Reserve.
The eighth-placed NPL WA outfit entered the half time interval level after Billy Quincroft’s opener was cancelled out by Gordon Smith’s leveller.
But the John O’Reilly coached side struck twice after half time through skipper Nathan Costello and NPL WA golden boot leader Chris Jackson to put themselves in touching distance of a first ever State Cup final.
Smith secured his brace with one minute of normal time remaining to ensure a nervy finale, but Armadale held on to extend their FFA Cup run.
As a result, Armadale will take on Gwelup Croatia in the Belt up. State Cup final at Dorrien Gardens on July 14.
Armadale stalwart O’Reilly told Football West he couldn’t be prouder of his charges after making history for the NPL WA club.
“I’m probably the proudest man in the world at the moment, the players put in a great performance tonight and I thought we deserved the win,” he said.
“The win really hasn’t sunk in yet, but putting us on that national stage, I’m absolutely delighted for the president Ken (Madeley) and everyone involved in this football club.”
Images courtesy of FotoEnzo