FFA Cup Wrap: Sydney FC sink spirited Avondale as Wanderers hold off Melbourne City

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Two dramatic FFA Cup quarter-finals have seen both Sydney sides triumph

Sydney FC have survived a spirited Avondale comeback to seal a 4-2 extra-time win and their place in the FFA Cup semi-finals. 

A first-half double from Trent Buhagiar appeared to set the Sky Blues up for a routine win, but Avondale, fresh from a dramatic NPL comeback, weren't ready to roll over.

Liam Boland himself bagging a quick double just 15 minutes after the break as Sydney FC found their lead quickly disappear.

With all the momentum, Avondale pushed for an unlikely winner with the Sky Blues on the back foot.

Going into extra time, Sydney FC would restore their lead in the 105th minute as Milos Ninkovic slotted home and Adam Le Fondre would seal the result with a composed strike in the 114th minute.  

Elsewhere, Western Sydney Wanderers held out a sloppy Melbourne City attack to claim a 2-1 win at AAMI Park. 

After Bruno Fornaroli missed an early penalty, the Wanderers made sure to make City pay with Oriel Riera and Roly Bonevacia putting Western Sydney 2-0 ahead after 45 minutes.

City, who did look more dangerous in the first half, got one back in the 53rd minute through a fine strike from Riley McGree.

Warren Joyce's side continued to push for an equaliser but the Wanderers managed to keep them out as they booked their spot in the semi-finals. 

Avondale's amazing run comes to an end

Avondale

Flying high after five promotions in just six years, Avondale are a club on the rise and they showed exactly why against Sydney FC.

Made to pay for a high line in the first half, the Victorian side made amends quickly in the second with Boland striking twice inside 15 minutes. 

Dominating the second half against the current FFA Cup holders, they looked most likely of scoring a winner in regulation time.

Having come back from 3-1 down in extra time on Friday night in an NPL semi-final, Avondale's stamina was set for another massive test in extra time. 

This time however, they'd fall short with two Sydney FC strikes and none of their own seeing Avondale's extraordinary run come to a very reluctant holt. 

Trent Buhagiar shines for Sydney FC as Adam Le Fondre shows his potential

Trent Buhagiar

Barring the potential signing of Usain Bolt, Buhagiar will be the fastest player in the A-League this season and if this FFA Cup performance is anything to go by, he's set to cause plenty of headaches.

Despite hitting the crossbar early when one-on-one with the keeper, the 20-year-old didn't go hiding and bagged a brace before half-time.

His sheer speed and growing composure in the final third making him a real weapon for Sydney FC this season.

With Buhagiar banging in the first two goals against Avondale, striker Adam Le Fondre would slot home the last and laid on an assist for Buhagiar's first.

Though caught offside one too many times, the Englishman looks more than capable of filling Bobo's shoes and brings a touch more mobility with him in the final third.

A tale of two strikers

Oriol Riera

It was two very different nights at the office for Bruno Fornaroli and Oriel Riera.

Fornaroli looked far too casual when taking a first-half penalty and saw his effort flash wide of the post with the keeper going the wrong way.

The Uruguayan would then hit the post as his frustrations in front of goal were doubled.

Up the other end, Riera would hand his side the lead with a brilliant header before dispossessing Luke Brattan in the build-up for the Wanderers second.

Two moments that proved decisive as Western Sydney put an indifferent pre-season behind them to hold on for a 2-1 win. 

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