Melbourne Knights left it until the last 90 seconds of the match to dramatically overturn a one-nil deficit and progress into the next round of the Westfield FFA Cup against Oakleigh Cannons on Tuesday night.
Having put in a disappointing performance against the Cannons in the league just three days earlier, Andrew Marth’s men were keen to exact immediate revenge in the FFA Cup.
Ben Surey was a welcome return to the Knights starting eleven following his suspension, while James McGarry overcame his recent injury to take his place on the bench.
Jason Hicks was first to test his luck with a long range drive over the cross-bar in the opening minute. Goalkeeper Michael O’Farrell was also called into action required to save a deflected shot from Bosnjak.
O’Farrell was called into action again in the 10th minute to deny another Bosnjak opportunity, with the custodian keen to play himself back into form.
Stipo Andrijasevic’s shouts for a penalty earned him a yellow card for simulation, despite the striker seeming to have been brought down in the box much to the despair of the Knights’ faithful.
However it was the home side which fashioned the more threatening opportunities. Joshua Frame forced another good save from O’Farrell, while Georgopolous headed over form close range.
In took until the stroke of half-time for Oakleigh to find their goal. A delightful one-two pass involving Frame and Bosnjak allowed the latter to slot home from close range.
With no second chances, the visitors threw caution to the wind and pushed hard for an equaliser. A Hicks corner in the 53rd minute resulted in a goal-mouth scramble ending with Honos stopping the ball on the line.
Andrew Marth brought on McGarry in the 57th minute, and the midfielder’s introduction together with inspirational efforts from Surey sparked the Knights into gear.
McGarry set up Colosimo inside the box, however the striker could only scuff his shot into the waiting arms of Honos in goals.
Stipo Andrijasevic came within a whisker of equalising in the 64th minuted, flicked his head narrow-ly wide of the far upright.
On the counter the home side were presented with an opportunity to seal the win as Joshua Frame found himself one on one with O’Farrell, with the Knights ‘keeper again coming to the rescue, saving to his near post.
In a final move, Andrew Marth thrust Milan Batur up front in search of a late goal. The move paid off as the Captain got on the end of a McGarry corner to bundle the ball and send the travelling Knights fans in delirium.
Sensing the game was there for the taking, the Knights pushed forward for one final attack. Joshua Brekalo latched onto a delightful through ball and, with sublime composure, rounded the ‘keeper and slotted home to complete a famous comeback.
Speaking to Knights Media post match, Joshua Brekalo spoke about.
“Stabba said to us at half time to make sure we run the game out and just keep going, not to ever give up, we were playing well and creating plenty of chances, and the result came in the end.
“It would be up there in one of the better goals I’ve scored, especially emotion wise. We obviously just want to go as far as we can in the competition”.
The win sees Melbourne Knights enter the Round of 16, with 2 more wins required to enter the opening stage of the Westfield FFA Cup national stage. The draw for the next round will be next Monday.
League action resume on Saturday, when the Knights’ travel to Epping Stadium to take on Melbourne Victory youth – kick off is at 3pm.
Shots: MK 10 OC 11
Target: MK 4 OC 4
Corners: MK 7 OC 3
Melbourne Knights Squad: 1.O’Farrell, 3.Grgic, 4.Surey, 5.Batur, 9.Colosimo, 10.Cvitkovic (8.McGarry 57’), 13.Katiforis (2.Jurcic 72’), 16.Hicks, 18.Brekalo (11.Jurkovic 92’), 19.Glavan, 21.Andrijasevic.
Goals: Batur 89’, Brekalo 91’
Oakleigh Cannons Squad: 15.Honos, 4’D’Angelo, 5.Wilford, 6.Georgopoulos, 8.Bosnjak (11.Hatzimouratis 60’), 12.Topalovic, 16.Lakic, 17.Frame, 19.Zoric, 21.Okud, 23.Hammeed (26.Lambropoulos 84’)
Goals: Bosnjak 44’