Western Sydney Wanderers' road to the FFA Cup semi final
Western Sydney Wanderers are through to their first ever Westfield FFA Cup semi final and could set up an all-Sydney decider against arch-rivals Sydney FC if they win through against Adelaide United.
After an underwhelming first three FFA Cup campaigns, the Wanderers are in with a real shot at the club’s first domestic crown this time around.
How have they got this far? We take a look.
LATE, LATE SHOW STUNS PHOENIX
The Wanderers hosted Phoenix in the Round of 32 for the second straight year and secured a 1-0 extra-time victory in the most dramatic of circumstances.
After a scrappy 90 minutes which ended 0-0, Western Sydney grabbed the winner with virtually the last kick of the match.
With a penalty shootout looking all but certain, Wanderers earned themselves a corner in the 121st minute and incredibly stole the win with marquee striker Oriol Riera rising highest to bury the header.
What a way for the Spaniard to endear himself to the Red and Black faithful!
CLINICAL WANDERERS OUTCLASS BENTLEIGH
In the Round of 16, the Wanderers flexed their muscle with an impressive 4-0 win over 2014 FFA Cup Semi Finalists Bentleigh Greens at Kingston Heath.
The Wanderers opened the scoring through an unlikely source in Robbie Cornthwaite inside 15 minutes, with the centre-back prodding home from close range following a quick free-kick.
The score remained 1-0 at half-time but Western Sydney took control after the break with Riera heading home a second less than 10 minutes after the restart.
The marquee man failed to extend their lead after missing a penalty but it mattered little as substitutes Steve Lustica and Mark Bridge both found the net in the final 15 minutes to complete a dominant victory.
SHOOTOUT DRAMA AGAINST BLACKTOWN
In an all-Western Sydney quarter final, the Wanderers needed a penalty shootout to overcome a spirited Blacktown City outfit after scores were locked at 2-2 after extra time.
Wanderers started brightly and took an early lead from with Riera netting in his third straight game via the penalty spot.
The A-League outfit continued to dominate proceedings but failed to make the most of their chances with Blacktown substitute James Andrew punishing the Wanderers with a well-taken strike in the second half.
The match entered extra-time after it finished 1-1 at full time and it was the NPL outfit who took a shock lead in the additional period with Andrew netting a second after superb build-up from Mitch Mallia.
But Riera equalised for the Wanderers with less than 10 minutes remaining in extra time to force the game to penalties.
Western Sydney’s class shone from the penalty spot with Mark Bridge, Lachlan Scott, Steve Lustica and Riera all converting to book their side’s spot in the final four.
Can Wanderers continue their Cup run and book a dream Final against the Sky Blues?