Knights blitz their way into the Round of 16

Melbourne Knights are through to the Australia Cup Round of 16 for the second time in their history following a commanding 4-1 win over Lions at Knights Stadium on Thursday night.

Gian Albano bagged a brace while Mohammad Sumaoro and Mitch Hore were also on target as Knights recorded their biggest ever national rounds win.

Albano opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when he curled an effort into the top corner from the edge of the area after Knights forced a turnover high up the pitch.

Lions found an equaliser in the 34th minute when Andy Pengelly ghosted into the penalty area and turned home an Ivan Ozzi cross at the back post with a first-time finish.

Sumaoro put Knights back in front just two minutes later when he headed home an Ivan Franjic cross at the back post for what was his eighth goal of the 2023 season.

Sumaoro then turned provider in the 69th minute when he headed a Gevaro Nepomuceno cross back across the face of goal for Hore to finish against his former club.

Albano rounded out the scoring in the 79th minute when he got in behind the Lions defence on the end of a Nepomuceno through ball and finished one-on-one for what was his 13th goal of the season.

Knights will discover their Round of 16 opponents on Monday night with the draw for the next round set to take place following the final Round of 32 matches.

Ben Cahn’s side more immediate focus turns to Sunday’s NPL Victoria Round 25 clash against Dandenong Thunder at Knights Stadium.

The Knights Head Coach said he was delighted with the performance in Thursday’s win.

“It was a great night, these are the nights that the whole group wanted to bring back to Somers Street,” Cahn said.

“It was a tight game, probably a little tighter than the score-line suggested. They certainly had periods of sustained possession and pressure but we did well to see them out.

“Aside from those spells I thought we controlled the game really well, created some good chances and our finishing was really good on the night.

“We’ve got to recover well and make sure we’re ready for a big game on Sunday and we’re looking forward to the draw and are excited to see who we get in the Round of 16.”

MATCH DETAILS

Australia Cup 2023 – Round of 32: Melbourne Knights v Lions FC

Knights Stadium, Sunshine North

Thursday, 10 August 

Melbourne Knights – 4 (Gian ALBANO 23’ 79’, Mohammad SUMAORO 36’, Mitch HORE 69’)

Lions FC – 1 (Andy PENGELLY 34’)

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