Mark it down in your diary – Tuesday, August 30, from 8pm.
That’s the night when Melbourne Knights and Green Gully Cavaliers will do battle in a highly-anticipated FFA Cup round of 16 derby at Knights Stadium.
It will be the hottest ticket in town when two former National Soccer League clubs fight it out for a spot in this year’s quarter-finals.
The Knights moved through to the last 16 after a hard-fought 2-1 win over WA side Cockburn City at Knights Stadium on Wednesday night.
In pouring rain, the Knights controlled the play and did the bulk of the attacking, but Cockburn City never relented, taking the game right down to the wire.
The scores were locked at 1-1 at the break after Jacob Colosimo’s 21st minute tap-in at the far post was cancelled out by David Araya on the stroke of half-time.
Much of the Knights’ first-half play went through James McGarry, who worked hard both as a link in attack and as a presence in defence.
The second half, though, belonged to match-winner Stipo Andrijasevic.
Andrijasevic hit the headlines in the lead-up to the game after locking in a trial with A-League club Wellington Phoenix.
After a big week in the papers, everyone wanted to see if Andrijasevic could back it up on the field.
He did not disappoint, producing intimidating runs at defenders, showing his proficiency in the air at the set pieces and unloading the odd shot from long range.
It was Andrijasevic’s powerful shot across City goalkeeper Luke Radonich from just inside the box in the 70th minute that decided the game for the Knights.
The cup dream is alive for the Knights, which is something to hang their hat on as their NPL campaign goes from bad to worse.
The Knights were badly beaten 5-0 by co-tenant Avondale in league action on Sunday.
The Knights’ fifth consecutive loss leaves them way down in ninth spot on the ladder.
Green Gully had a 2-1 NPL win over Melbourne Victory at Green Gully Reserve on Saturday. Cup hero Liam Boland and captain Daniel Jones got on the scoresheet for the finals-bound Cavs.
Green Gully will head to second-placed South Melbourne on Sunday in hot form on the back of three consecutive wins – two in the league and one in the cup.
In NPL2, St Albans kept its one-point lead at the top of the ladder in the west by beating east conference powerhouse Kingston City 3-1 on the road at The Grange Reserve. The Saints went into half-time with a goal advantage thanks to Michael Grgic, but that was cancelled out in the second half before goals from substitute Goran Jozeljic and Joseph Monek four minutes apart secured all three points for the Saints.