There was drama across the country on the first matchday of the inaugural FFA Cup, as the Victorian minnows reached the last 16 and the live TV game went to extra-timeThe FFA Cup round of 32 kicked off on Tuesday with goals, two goal-scoring brothers and the South Springvale fairytale continuing after a dramatic shootout as thousands of new fans across the Twittersphere hailed the night a wonderful success.
With #FFACup trending around the country, this is what happened around the grounds on an historic night.
Broadmeadow Magic 1 (Pettit 57) Brisbane Strikers 2 (Thurtell 61, Coulson ET 13)
Venue: Wanderers Oval, Broadmeadow, Newcastle
On a lovely surface on a perfect night for Cup football, it was the Strikers who got off to the better start but were unable to convert early half chances. But Greg King should’ve opened the scoring for the visitor after a turnover in the centre circle before screwing his low shot wide.
Magic striker Peter Haynes forced a fantastic save from Michael Turnbull in the home side’s best chance of the first half as the teams went into the break scoreless.
The Strikers again dominated the opening minutes of the second half but against the play a turnover offered Scott Pettit a chance and he found his way through to score just before the hour mark.
But minutes later, Strikers were back in it after a few minutes when goal-machine Scott Thurtell banged in a cracking drive from inside the box.
Turnbull saved the Strikers with Pettit poised to make it 2-1 minutes later as the game exploded into life.
Then drama, with Josh Piddington’s red card for a nudge adjudged to be in the box. But keeper Chris Bowling was the hero, saving the penalty from Strikers’ Keena Duimpies. A controversial decision but a great save as the fans lapped it up.
It was 1-1 at the end of full-time but extra time was tough on a ten-man Magic and with Jonti Richter on as a sub, Scot Coulson popped up to direct a second for a 2-1 lead in the first half of extra time.
Bowling, the penalty hero, was then red-carded after he went up for a last-ditch effort to equalise in the box. He earned the wrath of the ref in the second half of extra-time when chasing back with the Magic goal empty.
Strikers, with Richter on fire, ended the game on top and with a famous win on the road against a nine-man opponent.
What a night’s entertainment for the fans at the game and on Fox Sports 3.
South Springvale 2 (Florea 26, Dimitrakopoulos 78) South Cardiff 2 (Ashton 4, Wallace 41)
South Springvale win 4-3 on penalties
Venue: Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, Cheltenham, Melbourne
History will record the first goal in the FFA Cup round of 32 came from the Gunners with Lee Ashton nabbing the goal to give the visitors a very early lead. Alex Florea levelled with a header from a flick on from a corner to have Springvale fans on their feet. Luke Burgess hit the bar for the home side but the Gunners retook the lead with Mitchell Wallace on target for the club from NNSW.
And in the penalties, South Springvale’s fairytale continued when it mattered most in a dramatic shootout. Rani Dowisha the hero with the save to confirm the Cinderella club continued their incredible run.
What a night!
Olympic FC 3 (McLean 17, 25 Jafari 86) Melbourne Knights 1 (O’Doherty 52)
Venue: Goodwin Park, Yeronga, Brisbane
Free-scoring Olympic took their club form into the Cup, taking a lead through Jake McLean who drilled home a volley on 17 minutes. And he made it 2-0 minutes later as a shell-shocked Knights found themselves with a mountain to climb after his classy finish.
Musti Jafari made it three and to make the night even worse, Knights keeper Chris May was also red carded in the aftermath of the loss.
Manly United 1 (Payne 10) Sydney Olympic 3 (Mike Gaitatszis 59, Harris Gaitatzis 74, Mike Gaitatzis 76)
Venue: Cromer Park, Dee Why, Sydney
What a comeback by Olympic. Chris Payne’s opening goal in the first 15 minutes gave the home side the edge against an Olympic side without some key names – including Asian bound star man Evan Kostopoulos. In front of a good crowd of around 1000, Payne won his one-on-one against Olympic keeper Paul Henderson to edge United in front.
Mike Gaitatzis levelled for the away side before his brother Harris added a second and Mike made it three to stun the Cup experts and give Olympic a 3-1 lead which they held till the full-time whistle.