THE FFA Cup Round of 16 has kicked off in sensational fashion, with NPL side APIA Leichhardt stunning reigning A-League champions Melbourne Victory in one of the tournament’s greatest ever upsets.
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While fellow top tier heavyweights Sydney FC survived via a 3-minute blitz which yielded two goals to see them past a spirited Cairns FC.
Elsewhere, there were big wins for Victorian sides Bentleigh Greens and Avondale FC.
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Here’s a wrap of all the action from night one of the FFA Cup Round of 16…
APIA LEICHHARDT TIGERS 3-2 MELBOURNE VICTORY
APIA Leichhardt have pulled off one of the biggest upsets in FFA Cup history, stunning reigning A-League champions Melbourne Victory 3-2 to become just the 7th non-A-League side to perform such a giant killing. Japanese star Tasuku Sekiya was the main protagonist as a pair of stunning strikes put the NSW side on the verge of a jaw dropping result.
But Victory had other plans, as striker Kenny Athiu added two quick goals of his own square up the ledger in the second half.
It looked as though the A-League giants would run over the top of their opponents, but there was one more twist in the tale, as full back Nathan Millgate headed home from an 80th minute free kick to reignite dreams of a famous upset.
And despite Victory’s probing, APIA held on for a famous FFA Cup victory. The NSW NPL side now march on to the quarterfinals.
SYDNEY FC 2-1 CAIRNS FC
Ryan Cavanah put Cairns 1-0 after 17 minutes and a cup upset looked to be on the cards, but two second half goals snatched victory from the North Queenslanders.
An Alex Brosque penalty brought the sides level and a tidy finish from Trent Buhagier sealed the win for the Sky Blues.
Cairns FC had a golden chance to level the scoring from the penalty spot but Andrew Redmayne got down low to save the penalty and spare Steve Corica’s side from a looming cup upset.
AVONDALE FC 4-1 DEVONPORT STRIKERS
Avondale FC were on fire against a 10-man Devonport.
Two quick goals gave them an early lead before Brayden Mann slotted home a penalty for Devonport to narrow the deficit going into half time.
Guillermo Lazcano didn’t help his side’s cause after he was awarded a straight red for a reckless challenge in the 77th minute.
And Avondale took full advantage of their greater numbers with a brilliant goal from Elvis Kamsoba, capped off with a ridiculous celebration.
That made it 3-1, before Jonatan Germano slotted home for the penalty spot in injury time to seal the win for Parkville-based club.
BENTLEIGH GREENS 4-0 BROADMEADOW MAGIC
A brilliant second half display from the Greens.
After a scoreless first half, Bentleigh turned up the heat in the second 45, scoring twice in 6 minutes to make it 2-0 before Broadmeadow had a chance to blink.
It was Chris Lucas who was on the scoresheet for those two rapid goals, and he completed his hat-trick on the 71st minute from the penalty spot.
Tyson Holmes put the cherry on the cake for the Victorians, making it 4-0 with a composed finish inside the box.