Melbourne Knights has progessed through to Round 6 of the FFA Cup qualifying stage, defeating Sunbury United 3-0 at Knights Stadium on Tuesday night.
The win looked likely from the ten minute mark when Stipo Andrijasevic notched his first goal of the season, perfectly judging the flight of a high ball before lashing it on the half-volley with his left foot. Sunbury goalkeeper Mark Lewis was powerless to stop the shot.
The Knights were two goals ahead just three minutes later, as Tomislav Uskok’s close-range header was seemingly cleared off the goal line, but the referee’s assistant signalled that the ball had crossed over.
It seemed Andrew Marth’s men might have gone on to score several more, but the tally wasn’t added to until the 85th minute as Adrian Zahra scored his second goal in the FFA Cup this season. His fellow half time substitute Chris Talajic squared the ball and the former Perth Glory winger tucked it away at the second attempt to round out a successful evening.
Sunbury had multiple chances of its own, with its first clear opportunity coming on the half hour mark as Chris May had to be at his best to tip Jake McIntyre’s header over the crossbar.
The State League 1 side came close again three minutes before the interval, but this time May was rooted to the spot as Greg Berry tried an audacious 30-yard chip that astonishingly bounced back off the crossbar.
The second half didn’t provided as many clear-cut chances. Andrijasevic and Milan Batur both saw powerful efforts from distance fizz past the post while Greg Berry again came close after he broke free in the 63rd minute, only for his shot to land on the roof of the net.
The match took an eventful turn in the 75th minute as Sunbury substitute Simon Yates was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Josh Brekalo, effectively killing off any chance of a late comeback for the visitors.