The FFA Cup resumed last week with many teams from the east side of the country taking to the pitch for the first time in months.
Find out which teams progressed and which exciting fixtures are still to come!
The 2021 FFA Cup would mark the first time it would implement Playoffs, with the bottom four sides from the 2020-21 A-League Men’s season playing for spot two Round of 32 spots.
Western United 2-1 Newcastle Jets
Western United booked their spot into the FFA Cup for the first time in their history, with a scrappy 2-1 victory over the Newcastle Jets.
United were on top for most of the first half, though the Jets fought back into the game and looked to have taken the lead in the 31st minute through Angus Thurgate with his strike forcing the save from Jamie Young to spill into the goal.
Officials deemed the ball not to have crossed the line and with no VAR in cup games to reverse the decision played went on, and it was United who struck first blood. On the stoke of half time Lachlan Wales capitalised on an error from Jack Duncan.
The Jets would equalise in style in the second half through Brazilian loanee Daniel Penha who scored a great free kick to put the side back into the game.
Jack Duncan would have a game he’d quickly like to forget, as another error gifted United’s Aleksandar Prijovic an easy goal having come off the bench to put his side 2-1 ahead.
Running out 2-1 victors, United will face the Wellington Phoenix in the Round of 32 on December 7.
Fixture still to come
Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory: November 24
Zone 1 – East
The resumption of the FFA Cup would mark the long awaited return of club football in New South Wales, with all Zone 1 clubs being based in the eastern state. There’s been four fixtures played out over the past two weeks with two more games to be played next week.
Wollongong Wolves 3-0 Mt Druitt Rangers
The Wollongong Wolves have progressed to the FFA Cup Round of 16 for the first time with a comprehensive three goal victory over fellow NPL NSW outfit Mt Druitt Rangers.
With both sides trading 3-0 victories during the NPL season, it would be another familiar score line in the side’s cup tie.
It was a competitive opening half with the first goal of the game coming late into stoppage time of the half. Wolves Peter Simonoski was the first to pounce on a save from Rangers keeper Matthew Symes to put the Wolves a goal ahead at the main break.
Wollongong would waste little time doubling their advantage in the second half, Bilal Belkadi finding the top left corner in the 47th minute following a smart pass from teammate Lachlan Scott.
Having set up the Wolves second goal, Scott would ice game in the 70th minute, firing a low shot into the bottom corner to put his side 3-0 ahead and mark a historic victory.
Western Sydney Wanderers 3-0 Broadmeadow Magic
The Western Sydney Wanderers would play out a comfortable victory over Northern NSW NPL side Broadmeadow Magic.
Coming into the game as massive underdogs, the Magic came close to breaking the deadlock in the 20th minute with defender Jacob Harris being denied by Wanderers keeper Tomás Mejías.
Six minutes later the Wanderers scored the opener, Bernie Ibini tapping in an easy goal following up a save from Magic keeper Shayne Van As.
Ahead by a goal at the main break, the Wanderers then doubled their advantage just minutes into the second half through 16-year-old Alexander Badolato before Steven Ugarkovic put the side three goals ahead in the 51st minute.
In his first game as a Wanderer, Ugarkovic would strike from long range to score on the goals of the tournament thus far.
Finishing the game as 3-0 victors, the Wanderers booked their place into the Round of 16 and lots to smile about heading into the new A-League Men’s season.
Central Coast Mariners 1-0 Blacktown City
Central Coast Mariners coach Nick Montgomery was victorious in his official game in charge, with his side cruising out a 1-0 victory over NPL NSW side Blacktown City.
It was a game in which the scoreboard flattered City, with keeper Tristan Prendergast coming to the rescue multiple times throughout the game, coming up with several good saves.
The Mariners would have to wait until the 75th minute to break the deadlock and finally get the better of Prendergast, French midfielder Béni Nkololo scoring in his first appearance for the club.
Running out 1-0 winners, the Mariners progress into the Round of 16 and put in a solid display before their A-League Men’s season opener against the Jets this week.
Macarthur FC 3-0 Newcastle Olympic
In a battle of two sides making their FFA Cup Round of 32 debuts, it was A-League Men’s outfit Macarthur FC who prevailed in convincing fashion, taking out a 3-0 victory.
Aleksandar Jovanović headed the opening goal of the game with the centre-back scoring the go-ahead goal in the 39th minute.
The Bulls would then score two in two minutes, with Lachlan Rose also scoring a head having been spotted out brilliantly by Craig Noone.
Ahead 2-0 at half time, Lachlan Rose would score a brace in the 61st minute to seal the game for Macarthur, courtesy of another header having been set up by Noone for the second time of the game.
The game would finish 3-0, making it three out of four Zone 1 games to finish with the same score line.
Fixtures still to come:
Sydney Olympic v Sydney FC: November 24
Tigers FC v APIA Leichhardt: November 24
Zone 3 – South:
Hume City 3-1 Port Melbourne Sharks
It was a battle of two NPL1 Victorian sides with Hume City hosting the Port Melbourne Sharks with the Sharks were looking to book their place into the Round of 16 for the first time.
Mark Ochieng would break the deadlock in the 17th minute for Hume, the former Adelaide United player firing a great volley from outside of the box, putting his side a goal ahead with one of best goals of the tournament.
The Sharks would equalise in the 79th minute through striker Chris Duggan, set up brilliantly from a cut back pass by Luca Tevere.
Hume would go ahead in dramatic fashion during injury time, former Mariner and NPL1 second-leading scorer Josh Bingham scoring the winner. Nahuel Bonada would then score the sealer a minute later to give Hume a 3-1 victory and book their place in the FFA Cup Round of 16.
Melbourne City 3-0 South Melbourne
The reigning champions Melbourne City picked up from where they left off last season, taking out a strong 3-0 victory over South Melbourne to progress into the Round of 16.
Peppering chances in the opening half early, City would finally get off the mark in the 23rd minute from Connor Metcalfe to put his side a goal ahead at halftime.
Having little possession in the first half, South find their groove in the early going of the second half, with the home side coming close to equalising from a Michael Schroen freekick.
City would assert themselves again on the contest, and City full-back Scott Galloway would go on to score a brace kicking two goals in under 10 minutes, firing home in the 66th and 73rd minute respectively.
With an impressive 3-0 display in which Andrew Nabbout, Jamie Maclaren and Matthew Leckie didn’t take part, it looks like City will be the team to beat once again in 2021.
Fixtures still to come:
Western United v Wellington Phoenix: December 7
Image Source: Football Australia