South Springvale celebrates their victory over South Cardiff. Photo: Twitter @AlenDelic
MORE: As 101st US Open Cup nears end, Australia’s FFA Cup kicks off inaugural tournament
Australia’s version of the US Open Cup, the Westfield FFA Cup, had its first-ever match day on Tuesday night (local time) and it was a thrilling start to the tournament’s history as two matches went to extra time, one forced a shootout and four teams advanced to the Round of 16.
It’s clear that the tournament has created a buzz Down Under as the hashtag #FFACup was trending in Australia on twitter throughout the evening.
Here is a recap of the opening day’s action:
Broadmeadow Magic 1:2 (AET) Brisbane Strikers
BM: Petit 57′
BS: Scott Thurtell 61′
BS: Scott Coulson 103′
The first match of the competition saw Broadmeadow Magic from the Northern New South Wales Premier League and Brisbane Strikers from the National Premier Leagues: Queensland in a head-to-head match at Wanderers Oval in Broadmeadow.
The Strikers have a proud history in Australian Football, being winners of the former National Soccer League (the Division 1 league before the A-League) in 1996-97 and the first coaching position for former Australian national team manager (and current Syrdney FC boss), Frank Farina.
The first half was hard-fought, with neither side really able to get through the nerves, with Brisbane Strikers particularly guilty of giving away easy chances, sending both teams to the break scoreless.
The Strikers were the better side but in the 57th minute they were stunned as Petit was able to put the hosts in front, thanks to a poor turnover, stunning the visitors. But that joy was short-lived as a powerful strike from Scott Thurtell, in form in the state league, put his side back on level terms.
There were two unwanted firsts as the match wore down with Broadmeadow’s Josh Piddington earning the FFA Cup’s first red card, which was quickly followed by the first failed penalty as Keena Duimpies effort was saved by Chris Bowling.
Thirteen minutes in to extra time Scot Coulson got the goal Brisbane Strikers needed as he was able to pop-up and put away a Jonti Richter cross. That wasn’t the end of the drama though as Bowling was the second player shown a straight red-card for a foul he committed while rushing back to an empty net after coming forward for a goal, sealing Broadmeadow’s fate.
The match will have done plenty to draw fans to the majesty of the cup, with it making history as the first-ever televised Australian cup match. [+] FULL REPORT
South Springvale 2:2 (4:3 PKs) South Cardiff
SC: Lee Ashton 4′
SS: Alex Florea 26’
SC: Wallace 41′
SS: Dimitrakopoulos 78’
In what will be considered an upset, fourth division South Springvale managed to defeat second division South Cardiff in a penalty kick shootout at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex. The win continues an incredible run for South Springvale who made the main draw of the tournament by beating a strong second division side in the state cup.
Both teams are semi-professional, and made history, with the first-ever shootout and the first-ever goal in FFA Cup history as Lee Ashton scored just four minutes in to give South Cardiff the lead.
In the 26th minute, a corner kick allowed South Springvale to equalize as Alex Florea headed home before South Cardiff went back in front in the 41st minute to make it 2-1 at the break.
Facing elimination, South Springvale came back in the second half and powered through, with a 78th minute goal forcing extra time, which saw little action, sending the match to penalties.
The dream run continued for South Springvale on penalties as Rani Dowisha made a vital save to seal a 4-3 shootout win for the fourth division side. [+] FULL REPORT
Olympic FC 3:1 Melbourne Knights
OLY: Jake McLean 17′
OLY: Jake McLean 25′
MEL: Jordan O’Doherty 52′
OLY: Musti Jafari 86′
The Olympic-Melbourne match loomed as the most interesting match of the first match day. The Knights entered play with a long and proud history and finishing second in the strong Victorian Premier League last season but Olympic FC came in from the Queensland Premier League in hot form and determined to bring that in to cup play.
League form continued in the tournament for Olympic FC as the Brisbane side shot out to a 2-0 lead in the first 25 minutes thanks to two impressive goals from Jake McLean, the first a stunning volley.
Early in the second half there was a rollercoaster ride for Jordan O’Doherty as he put Melbourne back in the match with a goal before earning a straight red card moments later.
With four minutes to play Musti Jafari wrapped it up for Olympic before the Knights finished the match with nine men as Chris May was shown a straight red card in the final minutes. [+] FULL REPORT
Manly United 1:3 Sydney Olympic
MAN: Chris Payne 10′
SYD: Mike Gaitatszis 59′
SYD: Harris Gaitatszis 74′
SYD: Mike Gaitatszis 76′
The match between Manly United and Sydney Olympic was the only match in the round of 32 to pit two teams from the same league against each other as the two New South Wales Premier League clubs did battle in a thrilling match.
Sydney Olympic have the much stronger history, having won the NSL twice. On the other side, Manly United are proving a rising force in the NSWPL and against a depleted Sydney Olympic, were seen as favourites, which was confirmed with Chris Payne’s 10th minute strike to open the scoring.
The Sydney Olympic’s Gaitatszis brothers stole the spotlight in the second half with Mike managing to equalize just before the hour mark before Harris put Olympic in front in the 74th minute. Mike put the icing on the cake two minutes later to send Olympic through to the Round of 16. [+] FULL REPORT
Chris Hockman, who was born in Australia, is a freelance writer who also covers the sport for SanAntonioSoccerNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrishsport
DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS
2014 FFA CUP FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE
Brisbane Strikers (QLDPL) 2:1 Broadmeadow Magic (NNSWPL)
Sydney Olympic (NSWPL) 3:1 Manly United (NSWPL)
Melbourne Knights (VICPL) 1:3 Olympic FC (QLDPL)
South Cardiff (NNSWPL) 2:2 (4:3 PKs) South Springvale (VICD1)
Perth Glory (HAL) at Newcastle Jets (HAL)
St Albans Saints (VICPL1) at Parramatta FC (NSWPL2)
Tuggeranong United (ACTPL) at South Hobart (TL)
Wellington Phoenix (HAL) at Adelaide United (HAL)
Bentleigh Greens (VICPL) at Blacktown City (NSWPL)
Sydney FC (HAL) at Melbourne City FC (HAL)
Far North Queensland (QLDPL) at Sydney United 58 (NSWPL)
Western Sydney Wanderers (HAL) at Adelaide City (SAPL)
Palm Beach (QLDPL) at Hakoah Sydney City East (NSWSL1)
Brisbane Roar (HAL) at Stirling Lions (WAPL)
Central Coast Mariners (HAL) at South Coast Wolves (NSWPL)
Bayswater City (WAPL) at Melbourne Victory (HAL)
HAL – Hyundai A-League
QLDPL – Queensland Premier League
NNSWPL – Northern New South Wales Premier League
NSWPL – New South Wales Premier League
NSWPL2 – New South Wales Premier League Division Two
ACTPL – Australian Capital Territory Premier League
TL – T-League
SAPL – South Australia Premier League
WAPL – Western Australia Premier League
VICPL1 – Victorian Premier League Division One
VICD1 – Victorian State League Division One
NSWSL1 – New South Wales State League Division 1