FFA Cup 2021 Round of 16 action comes to a close with Gold Coast Knights and Melbourne Victory battling it out for the final spot in the last eight at the Gold Coast Croatian Sports Centre on Thursday night (7:30pm local kick-off).
A Quarter Final clash against defending FFA Cup Winners Adelaide United is on the line, with the Knights looking to continue their best ever Cup run, and Victory seeking a return to the last eight for first time since 2016.
Knights booked their spot in the Round of 16 thanks to a pair of late goals from Jheison Macuace and Dauntae Mariner in a 2-0 win over Edge Hill United back in September.
It will be a different look line up for the Knights when they face Victory on Wednesday night, with Macuace and Mariner amongst six players to depart the club following the conclusion of their 2022 NPL Queensland campaign.
HIGHLIGHTS: Edge Hill United 0-2 Gold Coast Knights
While the club are yet to confirm any new arrivals on the pitch there will be a new face in the dugout with former Socceroos and Celtic striker, Scott McDonald, set to take charge of his first competitive match as Gold Coast Knights head coach.
The Socceroos experience at the Knights doesn’t end in the technical area, with former Melbourne Victory midfielder Mitch Nichols headlining the 2019 NPL Queensland Champions' squad.
Knights, who finished sixth in the league this season, have faced A-League opposition once previously in the Cup, going down 1-0 to Newcastle Jets in 2019 in what was their only other appearance on the national stage.
Victory booked their spot in the last 16 with a last ditch 1-0 win over Adelaide City, with Anthony Leban dispatching a penalty in the 96th minute in a hard fought triumph over the NPL South Australia Champions.
HIGHLIGHTS: Adelaide City 0-1 Melbourne Victory
Leban also scored the decisive penalty as Victory overcame Perth Glory in a penalty shootout in the Play-Offs after the scores were tied at 1-1 after 120 minutes.
Leban is one of a number of Victory youngsters to have played significant minutes in Victory’s Cup run so far, with Tony Popovic rotating his squad heavily as they juggle A-League and FFA Cup commitments.
Victory are top of the table after six rounds of Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s action and come into Thursday’s clash off the back of a 3-1 win over Western United at AAMI Park.
You can catch all the action from Thursday’s match live and free via 10 Play.
FFA Cup 2021 Round of 16
Gold Coast Knights vs Melbourne Victory
Date: Thursday, 30 December 2021
Time: 7:30pm local kick-off, 8:30pm AEDT
Venue: Gold Coast Croatian Sports Centre, Carrara
Broadcast: Live & free via 10 Play
Tickets: Buy here