WATCH: Goals fly in as Round of 32 comes to a close
There was no shortage of drama and goals as the Australia Cup Round of 32 came to a close on Wednesday night.
Peninsula Power – 4 (Jake MCLEAN 15’, Josah HITCHCOCK 41’, Love-Semira 75' 87’)
NWS Spirit – 1 (Grant CORNWELL 26')
Two-time defending NPL Queensland Premiers, Peninsula Power brushed aside NWS Spirit 4-1 to seal a place in the Australia Cup Round of 16 for the first time in their history.
The Power scored their first ever goal in the Australia Cup Final Rounds after 15 minutes. Jake Mclean received the ball on the edge of the area from Brenton Fox, let it run across his body and finished expertly by smashing it into the bottom left corner.
However, their lead did not last long as NWS Spirit hit back ten minutes later through Grant Cornwell. The Spirit captain rose highest from a free-kick and headed the ball past a helpless Phillip Zabaks in goal.
But the scores did not remain level for long. Josah Hitchcock popped up from a corner to head home and hand Peninsula a 2-1 lead heading into half time.
Peninsula Power piled on the pressure in the second half and they extended their lead in the 75th minute through Malakai Love-Semira. He made no mistake slotting the ball into the right corner after being played through by Brenton Fox.
Love-Semira grabbed his second of the night and Peninsula’s fourth in the 87th minute with a stunning long-range strike after he controlled a long ball on the right.
Devonport City Strikers – 0
Wellington Phoenix – 4 (Ben WAINE 9' 64’, Oskar VAN HATTUM 61', Bozhidar KRAEV 76')
Following their semi-finals appearance last year, Wellington Phoenix emphatically dispatched Devonport City Strikers 4-0 as they look to go one better in this year’s Australia Cup.
While Devonport had a golden opportunity to take the lead within ten minutes at Valley Road, Wellington Phoenix went right down the other end and opened the scoring through Ben Waine.
The 21-year-old was played in down the right by Kosta Barbarouses and he clinically dispatched the ball through the legs of former Phoenix goalkeeper, Keegan Smith.
Despite battling to hold Wellington to one goal, Devonport could not do anything about Oskar van Hattum’s towering header from Clayton Lewis’ cross in the 61st minute.
Shortly after, Waine scored his second of the night and put the icing on the cake with another break down the right. He expertly lifted the ball over the onrushing Smith after being played through by a long ball.
Substitute Bozhidar Kraev sealed the 4-0 victory by heading home from a corner after getting in front of his defender in the six-yard box.
Sydney United 58 – 3 (Patrick ANTELMI 37’, Chris PAYNE 63', Kyle CIMENTI 79’)
Monaro Panthers – 0
It was a big win for Sydney United 58 as they secured a fifth Round of 16 berth with a 3-0 win over Monaro Panthers at the Sydney United Sports Centre.
Monaro had the majority of the chances in the opening 20 minutes but they could not do anything about Patrick Antelmi making it 1-0 for Sydney United by lofting it over Jordan Thurtell from close range.
In the 63rd minute, Sydney made it 2-0 from the penalty spot as Chris Payne slotted home after Taisei Kaneko was chopped down while dancing around two defenders in the area.
Monaro thought they had found a route back into the game after Danijel Nizic missed the ball in the Sydney United goal and it found its way into the net but the home side went straight down the other end and made it 3-0.
Payne was involved in the action once more as he played in substitute Kyle Cimenti, who was all alone on the left and dispatch the ball across Thurtell to seal a memorable victory.
Western United – 2 (George TIMOTHEOU OG 24’, 'Lachlan WALES 53’)
Melbourne Victory – 1 (Jake BRIMMER 48’)
2021/22 Australia Cup winners, Melbourne Victory were eliminated at the hands of Western United, who secured a 2-1 victory over their cross-town rivals.
On his competitive debut for Melbourne Victory, George Timotheou wrong-footed Paul Izzo and knocked the ball into his own net to hand Western a 1-0 lead after 24 minutes.
Melbourne Victory came out firing in the second half as Jake Brimmer blasted the equaliser into the top right corner after receiving the ball on the edge of the area in the 48th minute.
But Western fought back and immediately restored their lead through Lachlan Wales, who tapped in Ben Garrucio’s low and hard cross which fizzed across the face of goal to hand Western a passage into the Round of 16.