COCKBURN City and Floreat Athena have earned places in the FFA Cup Round of 32 after success in WA qualifiers yesterday.
Floreat scored a stunning 9-2 win over Inglewood United and Cockburn edged Stirling Lions 2-1 in WA semi-finals to give themselves a chance of taking on A-League opposition in the first national knockout round.
The teams will also meet in the Cool Ridge Cup final at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday July 23.
Floreat stormed to victory after trailing early with Lewis McMahon scoring a hat-trick, doubles to Kris Gate and Jonathan Stynes and a goal each to Ludovic Boi and Bobby Wilson.
Inglewood had taken the lead through Tim Robertson in the ninth minute before an avalanche of Floreat goals swamped the home side, whose second goal was scored by Mark Pritchard.
Floreat coach Glen Grostate attributed the nine-goal haul to his side’s determination to reach a cup final and a potential interstate fixture in the knockout stage.
“We’ve got so much quality in our team and we just feel like we can do this,” Grostate said.
“We had a game plan and it worked. Everybody closed down their opposing players at the right time.”
Angel Andres was Cockburn’s hero after opening the scoring in the 23rd minute.
Graham Doran equalised on the half hour for Stirling but Andres held his nerve to score a 72nd-minute penalty.
Cockburn coach Scott Miller was delighted with his side’s performance, which was vastly improved on their previous encounter against Stirling when they lost 7-2 in a league match.
“It’s a fantastic feeling,” Miller said. “The boys played really well.”
WA has now had six different clubs reach the Round of 32 after previous performances by Bayswater City and Stirling in 2014, and Perth SC and Sorrento last year.
Cockburn and Floreat will be aiming to become the first WA side to win a Round of 32 match.
The Round of 32 draw will be held later this month.