Match Day 2 unfolded with a shootout thriller, fabulous comebacks and a huge upset in Melbourne thanks to a Danny Choi-style stunning goal, this time from Liam Boland. What a night!
Green Gully 2
Jones (85') Boland (90+2')
Central Coast Mariners 1
Green Gully have become the second lower league club to eliminate Hyundai A-League opposition in Westfield FFA Cup history as they triumphed 2-1 over Central Coast Mariners.
Liam Boland's long-range stunner clinched the home side's victory at Green Gully Reserve on Tuesday, with the striker launching the ball over Mariners goalkeeper Ivan Necevski from 40 yards.
The Mariners had led with five minutes remaining thanks to Blake Powell's first-half volley but Daniel Jones and Boland scored to complete Gully's comeback.
In the 85th minute, Nicholas Krousoratis' cross fell at the feet of Jones and his strike took a fortuitous deflection off Boland - who was offside.
Then in stoppage time, Boland - the 24-year-old centre-forward from Western Australia - turned just inside his attacking half and gave his best impersonation of Danny Choi to secure a famous victory for the PS4 NPL Victoria club.
Green Gully joined Adelaide City as the only two clubs from Australia's lower divisions to eliminate A-League teams after the South Australian outfit defeated Western Sydney Wanderers 1-0 in 2014.
Wellington Phoenix 2
Watson (9') Barbarouses (31’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 3
Scott (40’, 48’) Nichols 70’
A stunning brace from debutant Lachlan Scott has helped Western Sydney Wanderers to a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 win over Wellington Phoenix at Campbelltown Stadium.
Phoenix raced out to a 2-0 first half lead before a quick-fire brace from Scott and a stunning strike from Mitch Nichols secured the Wanderers’ progression to the Round of 16.
The Phoenix appeared to be cruising after goals to Hamish Watson and Kosta Barbarouses in the opening 31 minutes gave them a comfortable advantage.
But debutant striker Lachlan Scott netted two goals in eight minutes – either side of half-time – to put Tony Popovic’s side on level terms.
And Mitch Nichols completed the comeback for the Wanderers with the midfielder’s thumping long-range strike leaving Phoenix keeper Glen Moss with no chance.
A visibly fatigued Phoenix outfit struggled as the game progressed with the lively Barbarouses threatening on occasion in the second half without troubling Andrew Redmayne.
Floreat Athena 1
Melbourne City 2
Fitzgerald (32’) Caceres (65’)
Melbourne City survived a major scare from PS4 NPL WA club Floreat Athena to emerge 2-1 winners in their Westfield FFA Cup clash at Dorrien Gardens.
Not surprisingly City dominated the early exchanges with Luke Brattan and Osama Malik both going close in the opening minutes.
Those two were involved again as Brattan’s delivery found the head of Malik only for a spectacular flying save from keeper Jason Saldaris keeping things level.
But just four minutes later City had their breakthrough as Fitzgerald cut in from the left and hit a powerful low shot which squirmed past an unsighted Saldaris at the near post.
Brattan was having a stormer of a game in his competitive debut for City and another of his deadly free-kicks looked destined for the back of the net only for another super save from the home side’s excellent gloveman.
And it proved a big save as just a few minutes later Floreat were in raptures as they drew level through Kris Gate
An excellent ball over the top by Lewis McMahon released Gate who held off Connor Chapman before poking it past Thomas Sorensen.
City responded in superb fashion six minutes later with Anthony Caceres rifling home an unstoppable effort from 30 metres out into the top corner.
Both sides had chances to score in a frantic finale but City held on to avoid a Cup boilover and move into the last 16.
MetroStars SC 3
Esposito (56’) Simic (90+5) Dodd (113’)
Bentleigh Greens 3 (4-3 on penalties)
Lucas (26’) Pilkington (81’) Ruthven (97’)
In an absolute thriller, SA club MetroStars came back three times but they couldn’t win in the shootout, losing 4-3 to Bentleigh on penalties at Elite Systems Football Centre.
The Greens thought they had it won but with virtually the last kick in regulation time, a 10-man MetroStars equalised.
But with the extra man, Bentleigh took the lead in extra time before Travis Dodd hit a superb equaliser to take the game to a shootout.
The visitors from Victoria were dealt a blow early with key player Wayne Wallace going off inside the first 25 minutes.
But just minutes later the Greens took the lead, Kieran Dover (a late replacement for Kamal Ibrahim) pushing the ball through to prolific Chris Lucas who beat the onrushing keeper.
One goal to the good at halftime but the plucky MetroStars hit back with Fabian Barbiero supplying Christian Esposito who finished well to draw level.
After MetroStars went down to 10 men with Liam Wooding sent off minutes earlier, the Greens hit back from a corner with 10 to go.
A deep corner and the ball was played back into the danger zone and an unmarked Luke Pilkington made it 2-1 for the visitors.
With a sniff of Cup glory, Greens thought they had it won. But with literally the last action of the game, Stefan Simic popped up in the box driving his left foot shot firmly into the net to send the game into extra time.
The Greens didn’t panic and early in the first half of extra time, Troy Ruthven’s free kick snuck home under the wall to restore the Greens’ lead.
And it should’ve been 4-2 but Lucas fluffed his lines. It proved costly.
The home side hit back with Travis Dodd restoring parity on 113 minutes.
Both sides were fatiguing at 3-3 before a thrilling shootout.