- By Marcus Angello, Waratah Cup reporter, at Cromer Park
IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 side Manly United cemented itself a spot in the inaugural FFA Cup as well as a Waratah Cup Semi-Final with a thrilling 5-3 victory on penalties against SUPA IGA NPL NSW Mens 2 outfit Northern Tigers in the battle of the Northern Beaches at Cromer Park on Wednesday evening.
In what were frenetic scenes at Cromer at the conclusion of the match, as many as 600 fans took in what was a great spectacle with so much at stake.
Going into this match, Manly United coach Paul Dee knew that his team needed a spark after their disappointing 4-3 loss to St George FC in round 10 of the IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 competition.
The loss pushed the club down to equal bottom along with the South Coast Wolves and St George FC but all focus was on the Tigers and a spot into the FFA Cup and the semi-finals of the Waratah Cup.
Early signs were evident that Dee’s men meant business against Jason Eagar’s side and took the ascendancy in the 24th minute.
The home fans were sent into raptures as the elusive Brendan Cholakian was sent on his way and delivered a majestic ball to Jimmy Oates who finished well beating Stuart Page in goals for the visitors with a deft finish. It was a just goal for Oates whose 2014 season has been hampered by injuries.
As the half time whistle blew, the Tigers knew that a huge effort was needed in the second half in order of causing a major boilover against their neighbours in this classic Cup tie.
In true Cup fashion, the Northern Tigers never-say-die attitude lifted as they struck an equaliser in the 51stminute.
Aram Tayebi who proved to be a menace for the visitors all evening, snuck home to level the match much to the dismay of the home supporters.
With chances coming thick and fast towards the tail end of the second half, the feeling of extra time and penalties were in the minds of everyone who witnessed the match and this proved to be the winner as the game ended 1-1 after regular time.
Like the closing stages of the second half, chance after chance was seen by both teams but both teams failed to hit the net as the dreaded penalty shootout was set to determine the match.
Nail-biting scenes soon followed as both teams stepped up to the box.
Manly United keeper Tonu Liiband was the hero of the evening and stole the headlines for his dramatic save and club captain Graeme Forbes netted home the winning spot kick that sent Manly United on their way to a famous victory and a chance to stage a huge FFA Cup clash against a possible Hyundai A-League side.
Manly United 1 (Jimmy Oates 24’)
Northern Tigers 1 (Aram Tayebi 51’)
Manly United won 5-3 on penalties after match ended 1-1 in normal and extra time
Wednesday May 21, 2014
Cromer Park, Cromer
Referee: Ryan Sheppard
Assistant Referees: James Tesoriero, Sebastien Brennan
Manly United: 20 Tony Liiband, 2 Jimmy Oates (19 Daniel Saric), 4 Graeme Forbes, 7 Scott Balderson (30 Dejan Pandurevic), 8 Daniel Grant, 9 Chris Payne, 10 Brendan Cholakian, 11 Roberto Speranza, 13 Masakatsu Tanaka, 16 Jed Prater (6 Josh Ward), 23 Daniel Drakopoulos
Substitutes Not Used: 1 Dylan Mitchell, 17 Nathan Sim
Yellow Cards: R Speranza 80’, C Payne 120’
Red Cards: Nil
Northern Tigers: 1 Stuart Page, 14 Ryan Batley, 15 Ollie Skelding, 4 Michael Rolston, 16 Stephen Baveas, 23 David Cain, 36 Jamie Craig, 8 Max Glanville (3 Luke Dawson), 7 Shervin Adeli (10 Guilherme De Souza), 18 Matthew West, 17 Aram Tayebi (9 Liam McConaghy)
Substitutes Not Used: 21 Harrison Devenish-Meares, 13 Alex Denning
Yellow Cards: M West, O Skelding, J Craig, M Ralston, S Page