The story of day three can only be of Adelaide City defying the odds and taking out A-League opposition Western Sydney Wanderers.
Thomas Love’s mazy run and finish has put the part-timers into the next round. In the battle of the NPL teams, Sydney United 58 FC doused the Heat while Bentleigh Greens overcame Blacktown City. In the battle of the A-League teams, it would be Sydney FC who spoiled Melbourne City’s first game in their new guise.
Adelaide City 1 (Love 75’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Whether having to borrow the stadium, having to play A-League opposition or losing key player Nicholas Bucco to injury, Adelaide City just kept on playing. Despite only having a handful of shots on goal and defending for long periods, the NPL SA side won the tie with a glorious goal from 18-year-old Thomas Love. The WSW team looked stunned at the end of the game and they will have to pick themselves up for next week’s Asian Champions League quarter-final.
Sydney United 58 FC 4 (Tomelic 14', Mileski 60', Pavlovic 71', 78')
FNQ Heat 1 (Smith 90’)
It was not a completely black night for Sydney as Edensor Park saw the home team rout Far North Queensland Heat 4-1. Three second half goals took the game out of the Queenslanders’ reach and sent them back to Cairns empty handed. Mirjan Pavlovic doing the damage for the home team with a brace in the second half. A late Alex Smith goal was little consolation for the visitors.
Blacktown City 0
Bentleigh Greens 1 (Stirton 40’)
A dogged display saw Bentleigh Greens take this tie from Blacktown City. Having to defend for long periods, Bentleigh Greens won match with a David Stirton goal in the first half. Despite having the majority of possession, Blacktown City couldn’t break down a resolute defence so Bentleigh went back to Victoria with a place in the last 16.
Melbourne City 1 (Kalmar 64’)
Sydney FC 3 (Gameiro 23’ Abbas pen 111’, 115’)
Just over 2,800 fans braved the Ballarat cold to witness two Ali Abbas penalties win the tie for Sydney FC. Damian Duff made his debut for City but it would be the understrength Sky Blues who reached the next round. Having conceded first, Melbourne got back in the tie in the second half when Nick Kalmar equalised and the game looked headed for a shootout until the ref pointed to the spot. More than 7,000 streamed the game live over the internet while fans grumbled at the lack of TV coverage… again.