GWELUP Croatia and Floreat Athena pulled off stunning upsets in FFA Cup WA soccer action on the weekend as they joined ECU Joondalup and Armadale in the preliminary semi finals of the competition.
David Heagney was the hero in extra time with his second goal of the game helping Gwelup Croatia dump NPL WA side Subiaco out of the FFA Cup at the Croatian Sporting Complex on yesterday.
Having cancelled out Joshua Booyson’s opener in the second half, Heagney struck again in the first period of extra time to seal the cup upset.
Coach Taki Nicoladis was delighted with his team’s show of character.
“One-nil down at half-time, we could have thrown the towel in but we rolled up our sleeves,” he said.
Subiaco took the lead in the 24th minute through Booyson who volleyed home a Manase Abendelwa corner.
Gwelup came out of the half-time interval strongly and on the hour mark were rewarded when Heagney’s low shot found the back of the net after a clever switch of play from substitute Benjamin Kouakou.
Three minutes later, Subiaco had the opportunity to regain the lead but Booyson could not keep his header down from Jackson Dongray’s long throw-in.
Dorling and Harding had late chances to win it for Subiaco but to no avail and the visitors would rue those missed chances 10 minutes into extra-time when Heagney beat the offside trap to slot past the out-rushing Montgomery.
In another upset, relegation-threatened Floreat Athena edged local rivals Perth SC 4-3 on penalties on Saturday night after a 1-1 draw in a thrilling tie.
Richard Howles looked to have put the visitors through to the next round of the competition with a well-taken goal 13 minutes from time.
With Perth being reduced to 10 men, Calvin Whitney would strike four minutes into stoppage time to hand Floreat a lifeline.
Nothing would separate the two sides and the tie was decided by a penalty shootout.
Hamza Hina and Jon Stynes scored for Athena as Perth failed to convert its final two spot kicks.
Stynes, who scored the winner in the 2016 State Cup, said he relished stepping up when it counts.
“You have to have confidence in your own game and I like the big moments,” he said.
“I missed a chance in extra time, so I wanted to take the fifth penalty in the shootout to win it for the boys.
“The situation appeared I was able to execute and score the winner; it’s a great feeling.”
Floreat coach Howard Tweats was relieved with the win and hopes to use the club’s FFA Cup run to boost league form following a tough first half of the season.
“We’ve now come through the cup against Bayswater and Perth and hopefully this confidence helps us in the league,” he said.
“We have a senior base of players who played for Melbourne City two years ago, so we draw on that experience to haul the young lads along.”
ECU Joondalup moved into the FFA Cup preliminary semi-finals following a comprehensive 5-0 mauling of Forrestfield United at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Goals from Sam Pollard and a hat-trick from Daryl Nicol helped ECU race into a 4-0 lead before half time.
Tom Hough scored his first senior goal for the Jacks to round off the scoring.
Armadale join them in the preliminary semi-finals as they defeated Dianella White Eagles 5-2 in a thrilling game at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday.
Goals from Billy Quinncroft, Dannie Richman, Ryan Haslett, Joshua Kuser and Chris Jackson helped Armadale progress to the next round; as they find themselves one win from the national Round of 32 and the State Cup final.