Shootout hero Dowisha South Springvale's Tim Krul
South Springvale's very own version of Tim Krul wrote himself and his club into Australian football history on Tuesday as the Victorian minnows – and self-described “pub side” - advanced to the last 16 of the Westfield FFA Cup.
The State League Division One side twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with NNSW side South Cardiff, surviving extra-time to win on penalties at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex in Melbourne. Rani Dowisha was the hero of the shootout, saving Jarryd Johnson's effort for the visiting Gunners to spark scenes of wild celebration, with some sly gamesmanship perhaps to thank. "I was trying to get in his head a bit, I was telling him that if he missed, it was game over and he was going to send them home," Dowisha said. "It's a lottery really."
Krul was sensationally brought on late in extra-time between the Netherlands and Costa Rica in the World Cup quarter-finals as a shootout specialist last month to great effect, saving twice to send Oranje through. And while the Newcastle United keeper replaced Jasper Cillessen in that game, for Dowisha it's a slightly different story.
South Springvale's regular number one missed the memorable recent Dockerty Cup semi-final win due to a personal commitment, leaving youngster Jordan Gifkins to deputize. "I didn't play in the semi-final of the Dockerty Cup, I played in the quarter-final that qualified us for the FFA Cup. Then I missed the semi-final, I was away, I had a wedding in America, I was over there for three weeks. "In the meantime, Jordan, the young keeper, stepped in and did a great job. It's unfortunate for him that I came straight back in." Thanks to a combination of Dowisha and Gifkins, South Springvale now have a Dockerty Cup final and an FFA Cup round-of-16 tie to look forward, something that would have been an unthinkable for the tiny club going into this remarkable season. And coach Bill Lambropoulos, who was barely able to process his emotions following the shootout win, knows exactly who his giant-killing players want to face in the next round. "I don't think any of these boys wouldn't want to play against a Western Sydney Wanderers or a Brisbane Roar or a Melbourne Victory," he said. "It would be their dream. As a coach I'd probably want a smaller team to come to us. But look, it doesn't matter. They're going to enjoy it. They're going to live and they're going to have the memories."