FFA Cup: Naumoff stars for Sydney, Roar fall to Reds

There was drama galore across the country as the FFA Cup got down to the business end of the campaign, with Christopher Naumoff delivering two howitzers to fire Sydney FC into the quarter-finals while Brisbane Roar were knocked out and Perth Glory survived a stern challenge.

Sydney United 58 FC 1 (Paric 45)
Sydney FC 3 (Naumoff 23, 60, Abbas 91)

Two stunning strikes from teenager Christopher Naumoff has ensured Sydney FC avoided a potential Cup shock with a thrilling 3-1 win over Sydney United 58.

In a cracking Cup tie played in front of more than 8000 fans at the Sydney United Sports Centre, Naumoff stole the show with two incredible goals to send the Sky Blues into the last eight.

The first came midway through the first half as he played a neat one-two with Bernie Ibini before unleashing a rocket from 30 yards out which gave United ‘keeper Anthony Costa no chance.

United almost responded immediately with Ante Tomic crashing a header against the post but the home side got their reward for a competitive first half with an equaliser just before the break.

An embarrassing mis-kick from Sydney FC skipper Nikola Petkovic eventually landed in the path of Stjepan Paric who smashed it in from close range to send the home fans into raptures.

But it would be Sydney FC’s – and in particular Naumoff’s night – when he settled the contest on the hour mark with another howitzer.

Picked out by a lofted Terry Antonis pass, the 19-year-old controlled with one touch then from an acute angle tried an audacious volley which dipped over Costa into the far corner of the net.

With United pushing hard for an equaliser late on, Ali Abbas added a third in stoppage time to put the icing on the cake for Graham Arnold’s side.

St Albans Saints 1 (McGuffie 68)
 Perth Glory 4 (Marinkovic 37 94, MacLaren 62, Keogh 72)

Perth Glory overcame a rusty start and a plucky St Albans Saints outfit to book a spot in the FFA Cup quarter-finals with a 4-1 win on Tuesday night.

A double to Nebojsa Marinkovic, plus goals to Jamie Maclaren and Andy Keogh saw the A-League side prevail at Knights Stadium in Melbourne's west.

But the Western Australian club started poorly and St Albans deservedly made it 2-1 midway after half-time only to concede the match-clincher soon after.

The Saints started brightly and generally had the better of the opening half hour, with a couple of long-range efforts flashing wide and a shout for handball in the box ignored.

But Glory survived and eventually took the lead in the 38th minute when a handball was given against St Albans winger Tedros Yabio and Marinkovic curled his free-kick into the net from directly in front.

After a quiet start to the second half, substitute Maclaren scored with his first touch, chipping Saints goalkeeper Stuart Webster from outside the box to double Perth's lead just after the hour mark.

The Saints hit back in the 69th minute, however, earning a penalty for handball before skipper Ryan McGuffie slotted his spot-kick.

But just as the home side gained some momentum, the Glory stretched their lead again with Keogh tapping in Maclaren's cut-back to ensure Perth will play in the last eight, while Marinkovic added a superb fourth goal with the last kick of the game.

Adelaide United 2 (Djite 35, Cirio 47)
Brisbane Roar 0

Goals either side of half-time from Bruce Djite and Sergio Cirio have seen Adelaide United beat Brisbane Roar 2-0 in the all-A-League affair at a wet Coopers Stadium.

The Reds had the better of the early exchanges, with flyer Awer Mabil causing plenty of headaches and it was his cross that led to the opener on 35 minutes.

Released down the right by Dylan McGowan, Mabil picked out Djite with a pin-point centre giving the striker the easy task of tapping in from close range.

Roar coach Mike Mulvey would have demanded more from his side at the break but within two minutes of the restart the visitors were further behind.

Winning possession deep in Roar territory, Pablo Sanchez got free down the right and his cross found Cirio at the back post who headed past debutant ‘keeper Jamie Young.

Henrique had the best chance to get the Roar back into the contest when he was sent clear through on goal but he was denied by a smart save from Eugene Galokvic.

Despite some intense pressure late on, the Reds defence held firm to ensure they would join Adelaide City as a second South Australian side into the quarter-finals.

Palm Beach Sharks 1 (Boxell 81)
South Springvale 0 

A late goal to Jack Boxell has seen Palm Beach Sharks end South Springvale's fairytale FFA Cup run, with the Gold Coast-based club winning 1-0 in Queensland.

In the 81st minute, Boxell found himself on the end of a sharp move through the right channel by the Sharks and cut inside before unleashing a left-foot shot inside the near post from the edge of the area.

The home side had the better of the first half at Cbus Stadium but South Springvale's hero from their round of 32 penalty shootout - Rani Dowisha - made two top saves to keep the match scoreless at the break.

The first genuine chance of the second period saw Ricky Diaco fizz a free-kick just wide for the visitors before the game opened up after the hour mark.

South Springvale appeared to be getting on top but after a couple of half chances, Palm Beach saw a free-kick flash just past the post before Boxell struck the winner to claim a spot in the quarter-finals for the home side.

It ended South Springvale's involvement in the FFA Cup with the Victorian third-tier club failing to hold on for extra time for the fourth straight cup fixture.