The Westfield FFA Cup round of 32 kicked off on Tuesday with goals, two goal-scoring brothers and the South Springvale fairytale continued 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
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.
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.
History will record the first goal in the Westfield FFA Cup round of 32 came from the Gunners with Lee Ashton nabbing the goal to give the Gunners 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.
2-1 at half-time.
But Springvale weren’t to be denied with a late goal to make it 2-2 at full-time. Tired legs on both sides meant the inevitable shootout was the result.
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
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.
2-0 at halftime and the home side was in control in front of over 2000 fans. But 16-year-old Jordan O’Doherty popped up to give the Knights a lifeline after a scramble in the box. He turned villain soon after with a red card to make the job even harder for the Melbourne side.
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
Sydney Olympic 3
Mike Gaitatszis 59, Harris Gaitatszis 74, Mike Gaitatszis 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.
1-0 up at the break was 1-1 soon after with Mike Gaitatszis levelling for the away side before his brother Harris added a second and Mike made it three to stun the Cup experts abd give Olympic a 3-1 lead which they held till the full-time whistle.