Matches mostly went to the script in the FFA Cup round of 16 with Melbourne Victory and Central Coast amongst the winners.
Fairytales were in short supply in the FFA Cup round of 16 on Tuesday as A-League clubs Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners eased to wins over lower league opposition.
Melbourne outclassed Canberra-based Tuggeranong United with a competition-high 6-0 win in the nation’s capital.
Central Coast had a tougher time in Brisbane but were never headed in recording a hard-fought 3-1 win over Olympic FC.
There was joy, however, for giant-killers Adelaide City who kept their cup ambitions afloat with a tough 1-0 victory over Brisbane Strikers.
A lone Anthony Costa goal just before half-time separated the teams in what was the first meeting between these former National Soccer League champions since 2003.
A late red card for the Strikers’ David Salin ended the visitors’ hopes as Adelaide City moved into the quarter-finals, having famously dispensed with A-League grand finalists Western Sydney Wanderers last month.
In Canberra, Victory forwards Besart Berisha and Connor Pain stole the show with the latter setting-up a hat-trick for the club’s new No.9 who arrived from Brisbane Roar in the off-season.
Melbourne were rarely troubled in front of a ground record 5,000 strong crowd at the Vikings Club.
The margin was 3-0 after just 20 minutes with another signing, French defender Matthieu Delpierre, also on target before further strikes from Gui Finkler and Pain.
“Once we got the first goal we settled down,” said Melbourne coach Kevin Muscat.
“We got a lot out of tonight, and it was a good hit-out.”
The prolific Berisha, who scored his first hat-trick for the Victory, said his teammates were focused from the opening whistle.
“This cup is so important for our club,” he said.
“You have to take these games very seriously. The team combined well and Connor (Pain) is a great assist man.”
The Mariners appeared to be on track for a comfortable win at Olympic FC with first-half goals from Nick Fitzgerald and Mat Sim.
But a goal soon after halftime from Jacob McLean halted the Mariners’ momentum, and they needed a late sealer from Glen Trifiro to ensure bed down the result and a spot in the last eight.
The final match of the evening saw former national champions Sydney Olympic suffer elimination with a 2-1 home defeat against Bentleigh Greens.