Round 6 of the FFA Cup produced what fans would call one of the greatest FFA Cup games in history, with Hume City’s fighting spirit leaving NPL Champions Heidelberg United and everyone else at Olympic Village stunned.
Nick Hegarty made a few changes to his usual starting 11. James Kapuranovski came in for Michael Weier, while Marko Delic and Matthew Lazarides came in for Ersin Kaya and James Brown.
It was the home side who kicked off proceedings and saw themselves leading 2-0 in the opening 15 minutes, with goals coming from Harry Noon (9th minute) and Tom Cahill doubling Heidelberg’s lead at the 15th minute. However, Hume City showed plenty of fighting spirit throughout the night and debutant Marko Delic’s persistence saw him bring the game to 2-1 at the 18th minute, after pouncing on a lazy Heidelberg back pass. Hume City then saw themselves level the score to 2-2, after Stevie Hewitt started and finished his own play. Hewitt found Matthew Lazarides’ run and Lazarides laid the ball of for Gidi Sweet, who’s cross found Marko Delic who headed the ball across the goal to Stevie Hewitt. At the 37th minute the away side almost took the lead through Mitch Cooper, but Cooper’s shot hit the side netting.
After a four goal first half, Nick Hegarty would have certainly been spurring his side to go and pull off a big FFA Cup upset against the reigning NPL champions.
The second half began with a moment of controversy at the 47th minute, after the referee denied Hume City a penalty claim after defender Paul Wilson was brought down inside Heidelberg’s box during a Hume City freekick. At the 49th minute, Heidelberg regained the lead after Sean Ellis’ freekick found Tom Cahill’s head and put the home side up 3-2. Hume City nearly retaliated after Matthew Lazarides won the ball off Alex Pavlidis, but Lazarides’ shot was off target. Heidelberg had a great chance to score at the 56th minute, but Harry Noon’s shot was fired directly into James Kapuranovski. Noon then had another great chance at the 58th minute, but he blasted the ball over the bar. Hume City took an early freekick at the 61st minute, but Danny Dixon’s effort from distance was fired into Heidelberg’s defence. James Kapuranovski kept his side in the game at the 68th minute, after denying Tom Cahill’s headed effort off a Heidelberg corner.
As the game entered its final stages, Hume City managed to level the score to 3-3 at the 84th minute off a Stevie Hewitt header which was found by Hayden Tennant’s cross. As the game entered the dying moments in added time, James Brown was put through on goal by Harry Monaghan, but Brown’s shot was fired directly into Alex Pavlidis. The referee blew the final whistle at 90+4 minutes and with neither team able to break the deadlock, the game went into extra time.
Hume City almost took the lead immediately into extra time off a counter attack, as Stevie Hewitt put James Brown through on goal, but Brown fired into Alex Pavlidis once again. However, it was Lucas Derrick who put the home side up 4-3 at the 93rd minute, after firing home off a throw in. Hume City immediately retaliated via Gidi Sweet at the 94th minute, when Sweet’s right-footed effort brought the score to level pegging for the third time of the night, 4-4. James Kapuranovski then denied Paul O’Brien’s goalbound effort to keep Hume City in the game once again. Just as everybody thought the game would go to a penalty shootout, substitute Theo Markelis’ moment of brilliance at the 109th minute saw Hume City take the lead (5-4) for the first time of the night, after trailing 3 times throughout the game. It wasn’t the first time that Markelis scored a crucial goal for Hume City this year, after scoring the equalizer (1-1) against Avondale F.C in Round 8 of the 2019 NPL campaign. Markelis continued to provide the spark Hume City needed in the dying embers of the game, after putting James Brown through on goal but Brown’s shot deflected for a corner.
At 120+1 minutes, the referee blew the final whistle which lead to an uproar from the Hume City travelling support, after what was arguably one of the greatest FFA Cup games in history. Hume City now have their sights set on the 11th of May, as they host an in-form Melbourne Knights at ABD Stadium. Seniors kick-off at 5:30pm followed by the Under 20’s game at 7:45pm.
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