Thu, Aug 23, 8:41am by Head Editor
The magic of the Cup was on full display on Tuesday night when New South Wales National Premier League outfit APIA Leichhardt defeated reigning A-League Champions Melbourne Victory at Sydney’s Leichhardt Oval.
The 3-2 result will go down as one of the biggest upsets in the history of the competition with the team of part-timers defeating one of Australia’s biggest professional clubs.
A double from Japanese striker Tasuku Sekiy saw the hosts go 2-0 up before the highly fancied Victorian’s made clawed their way back into the match and after Kenny Athiu scored his second in the 66th minute, looked as if they would go on with the job.
APIA had other ideas though and when Nathan Millgate headed home with 10 minutes to play, the $5.50 upset was on the cards.
Making the result even more incredible was the fact that the Tigers played 120 minutes of football on Saturday in a penalty shootout defeat to Sydney Olympic in the semi-finals of the NPL.
Kevin Muscat’s team arrived in Sydney without prized marquee signing Keisuke Honda and defensive recruit Georg Niedermeier, a decision he may be regretting now.
Victory remain equal top pick to defend their league title alongside neighbours Melbourne City and arch-rivals Sydney FC.
Speaking of Sydney FC, they also went behind in their round of 16 FFA Cup tie against Cairns FC but managed to escape North Queensland with a 2-1 win thanks to two goals in three minutes from Alex Brosque and then Trent Buhagiar.
Ryan Cavanah put Cairns ahead in the 17th minute of a match that also saw Sky Blues defender Rhyan Grant make a long-awaited return to the pitch from his second ACL injury.
Elsewhere, Avondale FC were too strong for Devonport FC, running out 4-1 winners, while a hat trick from Bentleigh Greens attacker Chris Lucas saw his saw home 4-0 against Broadmeadow Magic.
The remaining four FFA Cup Round of 16 matches are scheduled to be played on Wednesday August 29.
FFA Cup Odds – Sportsbet
Sydney FC $3.75
Melbourne City $5.50
Adelaide United $6
Newcastle Jets $8
Western Sydney Wanderers $8
Bentleigh Greens $17
APIA Leichhardt Tigers $21
Heidelberg United $21
Avondale FC $31
Bonnyrigg White Eagles $71
Adelaide Comets $76
Lions FC $151
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