It was perhaps one of the most dramatic nights in the short history of the FFA Cup as four matches were played to kick off the second ever edition of the tournament. There were shocks, and two matches went to extra-time as four lower league teams got it started this year on Wednesday night across Australia.
There was something of a shock almost instantly in the 2015 FFA Cup as MetroStars SC came from behind to eliminate Blacktown City. The NPL NSW side went in as slight favourites thanks to home advantage and the absence of Perry Mitris, but the South Australian NPL side showed why they were the national NPL champions as they eliminated Blacktown City.
There were plenty of chances but the goal did not come until the 34th minute after some nice work from Mitch Malia. Malia was able to make a solid run down the right before sending a low ball in to the box which was sent home by Patrick Antelmi.
That goal proved enough to keep Blacktown City in front at half-time, but after the break, the Klemzig club came out a different side, going for the match. Metrostars dominated the opening ten minutes and finally had their goal 15 minutes in as Jonathan Negus headed home the equalizer.
From there MetroStars SC continued to attack and in the 78th minute they were able to take the lead. It was Rocky Callisto who sent home the goal, that allowed the NPL Champions to hold out and get the win and advance.
One of the stories from 2015 was the performance of Broadmeadow Magic, but their run ended at the first stage of 2015. Broadmeadow Magic fell to Heidelberg United 3-1 at Magic Oval, with the only goal being a late consolation.
There was a hit for Heidelberg United before the match after some poor thinking from goalkeeper Griffin McMaster. McMaster sent a number of offensive tweets which saw the Heidelberg management dismiss him from the side, forcing in a reserve goalkeeper.
After starting well, Heidelberg managed to take a 3-0 lead in to the break, with the goals coming in the second half of the half. Jack Petrie had a stunning strike to open the scoring in the 21st minute as he was able to get space from 25 yards out and slam home the goal.
Just three minutes later the lead was doubled, before Heidelberg made it three for the big lead at the break. That was seemingly enough but after some messy work in the box, Broadmeadow managed to pull a goal back as Scott Pettit bundled it home but they could not get going as it ended 3-1.
The other two matches went to extra time with both matches ending in the most heartbreaking of circumstances. The first was Hume City’s 4-3 win over Brisbane Strikers after extra time, with the final goal coming in the 120th minute.
Hume City started the match well and they had the opening goal just three minutes in to the match. The ball came in for Nick Hegarty which allowed him to simply just pass the ball past the keeper, giving the hosts a perfect start.
Despite giving up the early goal, Brisbane Strikers stuck to their plan and were determined to get back on level terms. A Greg King free-kick saw Brisbane Strikers get on level terms as he sent it in for Greig Henslee who headed it over the keeper.
After over 60 scoreless minutes the match seemingly has a winner as Scot Coulson snuck his strike under the goalkeeper. But in stoppage time, less than one minute later the crowd were sent in to raptures as Marcus Shroen headed home.
That goal sent the match in to extra time, which saw things just kick on from there, with Brisbane Strikers getting back in front after a Coulson goal. That goal took advantage of a defensive lapse before Shroen again managed a header to level scores late in the first half.
But the match ended in perhaps the most heart breaking of ways as an own goal sealed the win for Hume City. The ball was sent in to the wrong net by Henslee to send Hume through to the next round.
The final match of the day was no less dramatic as a side with plenty of hubris, in South Melbourne headed to the Gold Coast to take on one of the darlings of last year’s tournament, Palm Beach Sharks. South Melbourne came in hoping a good cup run would prove their A-League readiness, but if that is the measure than South Melbourne are short as they were eliminated on penalties.
It was an end-to-end start to the match but the opener finally came in the 32nd minute after a nice run from Bradley Norton. Norton was able to send the ball to a rushing Milos Lujic who was able to head home the opener for South Melbourne.
But just four minutes later, South Melbourne were drawn back to level terms after an inexplicable barge from Nikola Roganovic. That allowed Florian Matik to step up and slot home the penalty that made it 1-1, which would remain the score all the way through extra-time.
That allowed Palm Beach’s Shane Viitakangas to be the hero as he managed two saves in the penalty shootout. Stephan Hatzikostas with a rare saved spot kick before he saved the vital spot kick of Michael Eager to send Palm Beach through.