The FFA Cup has commenced with a flurry of goals, as Brisbane Strikers, Sydney Olympic, Olympic FC and South Springvale won their opening games.
The FFA Cup commenced with a flurry of goals across Tuesday’s four games with former national champions Sydney Olympic and Brisbane Strikers both securing come-from-behind wins.
There was no such joy for Melbourne Knights, two-time champions of the defunct National Soccer League, who crashed to a 3-1 defeat against Olympic FC in Brisbane.
The new national knockout cup – styled on England’s FA Cup – opened with the spotlight on the nation’s semi-professional ranks, with the A-League clubs to enter the fray over the coming weeks in further round of 32 fixtures.
Sydney Olympic, NSL champions in 1990 and 2002, turned on the style in the second half for a 3-1 win at Manly United.
Former Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets striker Chris Payne netted early on for Manly, however Olympic eventually found their rhythm on Cromer Park’s artificial surface to run out deserved victors.
Brisbane were pushed all the way by nine-man underdogs Broadmeadow Magic in Newcastle, before eventually hitting the lead in extra time with a winner from the boot of full-back Scot Coulson.
Broadmeadow lost their skipper Josh Piddington to a red card with eight minutes of normal time remaining for a last-man foul, while goalkeeper Chris Bowling also saw red during extra time.
Earlier, prolific Strikers forward Matt Thurtell cancelled out Scott Pettit’s opener, while Keenan Duimpies missed a penalty for the visitors.
Melbourne Knights’ cup campaign opened poorly and they soon fell behind at Olympic FC as Jacob McLean bagged a first-half double in an end-to-end contest.
The Knights hauled themselves back into the contest with a goal from 16-year-old Jordan O’Doherty, only for the same player to be sent for a second caution, before Mustafa Jafari sealed the contest with a late goal.
The fairytale continued for Melbourne third-tier club South Springvale who saw off Newcastle’s South Cardiff on penalties after the teams finished 2-2 following extra time.
South Cardiff’s Lee Ashton earlier had the honour of netting the competition’s first ever goal with a close-range finish after just four minutes.