The final 16 for the FFA Cup has been decided following another pulsating night of action which saw extra time drama and a Hyundai A-League club stunned by a National Premier Leagues opponent.
With Wellington Phoenix falling to a 10-man Bentleigh Greens SC side, there was also a late sigh of relief for Western Sydney Wanderers who required a stoppage time winner to overcome Darwin club Hellenic AC 4-3.
This was far from the only major talking points from the Round of 32 ties, with Melbourne City needing a 120th minute Bruno Fornaroli rocket to top Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory progressing past Perth Glory, while Sydney FC came from behind to put four goals past Rockdale City Suns.
With the draw for the FFA Cup Round of 16 confirmed, here are some of the major match-ups to look forward to in the coming matchdays…
Will Honda make his Victory debut?
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC faithful would have been licking their lips as they drew the number of Melbourne Victory out of the pot.
With the NSW NPL club and one-time National Soccer League champions having defeated Port Melbourne SC on night one of the Round of 32, APIA now have the tantalising proposition of playing host to Japanese superstar Keisuke Honda.
Honda’s arrival as Melbourne Victory’s marquee signing was confirmed this week, with the 98-capped international set to arrive on Aussie soil next week to begin training with his new teammates.
Honda, 32, announced his international retirement following the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, ending a stellar career in Samurai Blue which saw the former AC Milan midfielder score and assist in the last three FIFA World Cups.
There will also be a Japanese presence for APIA, with midfielder Tasuku Sekiya impressing with 10 goals in 20 NSW NPL games so far this season for the current league leaders. Sekiya was the man who scored the lone goal in APIA’s Round of 32 win over Port Melbourne SC.
Steve Corica’s homecoming
New Sydney FC head coach Steve Coria will have a chance to return home and face off against a relative after the Sky Blues drew Cairns FC in the Round of 16.
Born and raised in Innisfail — a far north Queensland town located an hour south of Cairns, Corica will also come up against his nephew Harry Corica who lines up for the NPL Queensland club.
Cairns enjoyed a smashing 4-0 Round of 32 win over Armadale SC, with the Western Australian side reduced to 10-men inside 20 minutes.
For Corica, his Sydney FC side put four goals past Rockdale City Suns in his first competitive game in charge since taking over from Graham Arnold.
Cup upset artists in all NPL matchup
Bentleigh Greens SC became just the sixth Member Federation club in FFA Cup history to knock off a Hyundai A-League opponent, upsetting Wellington Phoenix 1-0 on Tuesday night despite playing with 10-men for the bulk of the Round of 32 clash.
Bentleigh, who earned a semi-final spot in the inaugural Cup competition in 2014, now have a chance to continue their journey — drawing another Member Federation rival in the Round of 16.
A trip to Broadmeadow Magic FC is next for John Anastasiasdis’ side, with the Magic earning their first ever FFA Cup win at the fourth attempt on matchday one.
Broadmeadow topped Canberra FC 4-1 on July 25 to book a ticket to the next round, but it was Bentleigh who later grabbed the Round of 32 headlines when Marco Jankovic’s lone goal sunk Wellington in Mark Rudan’s first game as head coach.
Here’s the full list of FFA Cup Round of 16 fixtures, with dates, venues and kick-off times to be announced later this week:
- Melbourne City FC v Newcastle Jets
- Avondale FC v Devonport Strikers
- Adelaide Comets v Heidelberg United FC
- Broadmeadow Magic FC v Bentleigh Greens SC
- APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC v Melbourne Victory
- Lions FC v Adelaide United
- Cairns FC v Sydney FC
- Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC