The 2018 FFA Cup has been whittled down to just 20 teams following the completion of Round Five, which means every club is now only 180 minutes from a place in the coveted Round of 32.
The remaining sides include 8 from the NPL NSW Men’s competition, together with 4 from the NPL 2, 4 from NPL 3, 1 from the State League, 1 from the Illawarra Premier League, and 2 local Associations clubs.
As usual there were some very interesting results, plenty of goals, extra time, penalty shootouts, as well as the odd upset or two. Let’s review all the action and find out who progressed in to Round Six of Australia’s premier football cup knockout tournament – the FFA Cup.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles avoided a potential banana skin at North Turramurra Recreation Centre when they defeated NPL 2 side Northern Tigers 3-1.
Asmir Kadric gave the White Eagles the lead in the 23rd minute, a lead they held until half time. Bonnyrigg skipper, Ray Miller, then made it 2-0 with a goal five minutes after the break, before Shervin Adeli extended the lead to 3-0 with a goal against his former club.
Rory Spiers pulled a goal back for the Tigers in the 66th minute, but it was too little too late, and the NPL Men’s side progressed into the next round.
Hills United made it through to Round Six with a 3-1 victory over Belrose Terrey Hills Raiders at Russell Reserve.
Marcus Zarantonello, Bradley Robertson and Wade Giovenali all found the net for Hills during a dominating first half display to effectively end the contest. Nick Hugh scored a consolation for the Raiders in the second half but it wasn’t enough to avoid elimination.
Penalties were required to separate the two sides at Bomaderry Oval, with Bomaderry SC prevailing 6-5 on spot kicks against Killarney FC after the two sides were locked at 1-1 after the end of extra time.
Sutherland Shire Football Association side, the Kirrawee Kangaroos, find themselves in Round Six of the FFA Cup following their 2-0 upset victory over State League side, Balmain Tigers.
Sydney Olympic travelled to Pluim Park before defeating Terrigal United from Central Coast Football 2-0.
Jason Madonis and Radovan Pavicevic were the goalscorers for Olympic in a game that the visitors dominated, yet the score was kept to a minimum due to the efforts of Terrigal’s keeper, Aaron Zavalokin, who produced a string of saves throughout the match to keep his team in the contest.
NPL 3 league leaders, Hawkesbury City, cannot do any wrong at the moment, carrying their league form in to the FFA Cup by overcoming Berkeley Vale 2-1 at David Bertenshaw Field.
Majid Eslami and Daniel Zahra both netted a goal to send the Hawks in at the break with a 2-0 lead, and even though Paul McGinley pulled a goal back for Vale, Hawkesbury City hung on to progress in to the next round of the Cup.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers made light work of Wollongong Olympic at Macedonia Park, winning 4-0 after leading 1-0 at the break.
Tasuku Sekiya was the star of the show for APIA with a hat-trick of goals, supplemented by a solitary strike from Joshua Symons.
Another Illawarra Premier League side, Tarrawanna Blueys, had better success than their competition colleagues when they progressed to Round Six of this year’s FFA Cup courtesy of a penalty shoot out triumph win over State League side, UNSW.
Kouryo Kubota gave the Blueys a half time lead, before Luiz Lobo found an equaliser to send the match in to extra time. Tarrawanna prevailed 4-2 from the spot to book their place in the next round.
NSW NPL Men’s side, Sydney United, demolished Henwood Park FC at Sydney United Sports Centre, winning 12-0 in a canter.
Chris Payne scoring six goals goals on the night, while Matthew Sim and Kyle Cimenti grabbed hatricks, whilst Anthony Tomelic also found the net in a one sided affair.
GHFA Spirit from the NPL NSW Men’s 2 competition fielded a youthful side at JJ Kelly Park, yet picked up the scalp of NSW NPL Men’s outfit, Wollongong Wolves, with a shock 2-1 away victory.
Ahmed Sweeden and Jacob Harris scored first half goals to shock the Wolves and give the visitors a 2-0 lead, and even though Quini Fowler pulled a goal back for Wollongong, it wasn’t enough to avoid a surprise defeat, sending GHFA Spirit in to the next round.
The match of the round in Round Five was undoubtedly at Cromer Park in Dee Why, where fellow NSW NPL Men’s sides, Manly United and Blacktown City did battle after being drawn out of the hat together.
Danny Choi got things going for Blacktown City after just four minutes, driving low past a crowd of players to give the visitors the lead.
Manly United pushed men forward with application thereafter, and were awarded in the 53rd minute when Brendan Cholakian cut inside his marker to drive home a low equaliser.
Just as the fans were beginning to rug up for what loomed as a long night at Dee Why, up popped Joey Gibbs with an injury time winner for Blacktown City, the striker cutting inside on to his left before stroking home from an acute angle.
Mounties Wanderers returned to Cook Park to despatch FC Gazy Auburn by 6-1 and in the process book their place in the 6th Round draw of the FFA Cup.
U20s player, Anthony Windsor, made the step up to 1st grade quite easily with a hatrick on the night, whilst further goals were added by Noah Chianese, Andre Schroeder, and Wade Oostendorp.
In an all State League encounter at Peakhurst Park, Central Coast United overcame Hurstville City Minotaurs 2-1 after being behind 0-1 at the break, with goals by Alex Arbelo in the 69th, and Daniel McFarlane, who netted in injury time.
Rockdale City Suns put their indifferent league form aside as they defeated Bankstown United 3-0 at the Ilinden Sports Centre.
Harris Gaitatzis managed a brace of goals whilst Toufic Alamaddine got the other in a comprehensive win for Rockdale.
In another all NSW NPL Men’s fixture, Andre De Jong scored both goals as Hakoah Sydney City East knocked out Sutherland Sharks at Seymour Shaw Park by 2-0.
Bulli FC and St George FC competed in a real arm wrestle at Balls Paddock in Bulli, with the match scoreless at full time as it entered extra time.
Just as the fans were preparing for a penalty shootout, up popped substitute, Lenox Tweneboa, to score the winning goal in the 120th minute and send St George in to Round Six of the FFA Cup.
Marconi Stallions knocked out Gladesville Ravens 4-2 at Marconi Stadium, after leading 2-1 at half time.
Theo Kofinas scored a couple of goals for the home side, with Brandon Vella and James Andrew netting the others. Igor Shtefan and Nicholas O’Sullivan found the mark for Ravens, but it is Marconi who take their place in the next round.
In an all NSW NPL 3 Men’s clash at Christie Park, Gladesville Ryde Magic and Dunbar Rovers put on an entertaining show, with Magic prevailing by the odd goal in three.
Magic took the lead just before half time through Johnny Gowdy, before Dunbar equalised with a neat back-heeled goal by Micaiah Te Rata.
Just as the match looked headed for extra time, Gladesville Ryde Magic were awarded a penalty for hand ball in the 84th minute.
Michael Gaitatzis took on the responsibility, and even though his first effort was parried by Dunbar keeper, Stephen Deasy, Gaitatzis followed up to strike home the rebound and send Magic in to Round Six.
St George City FA fielded a youthful side – including 18 year old debutants, Alex Duffey and Hady Hassein – as they progressed to Round Six of the FFA Cup with a 3-1 victory over Maroubra United at Seymour Shaw Park.
It spells the end of the road for Maroubra United, from the Eastern Suburbs Football Association, with Emanuel Koumis and Peter Yannopoulos, who nabbed a brace, doing the damage for St George City FA.
One match has yet to be decided and that is the game between SD Raiders and Albion Park White Eagles, which was played at Ernie Smith Reserve. The match had everything a Cup encounter could ask for, including a floodlight failure five minutes before the end of extra time.
SD Raiders had produced a ‘Lazarus’ style comeback to be within minutes of overpowering Albion Park White Eagles, but the jury is still out and a final decision on the outcome will be forthcoming.
It was Albion Park who started like a house on fire, racing to a 4-1 lead at the break, with Shannon Fielding, Kody Maude, Hikaru Kawasakiya and Chris Gomez all finding the net for the side from the Illawarra Premier League.
But SD Raiders stormed back after half time to draw level at 4-4, and take the match in to extra time, before edging in front 5-4 before the lights literally went out.
John Fahmi and Ben Welch both scored a brace of goals for the home side, with Lucas Rossi also finding the net.
Stay tuned for an outcome to be decided in due course by Football NSW.
Round 6 draw to be released on Friday 11th of May at 11am via the Football NSW Facebook page.