FFA Cup R32 Wrap: Record night sees insane drama, meteoric rise
THE FFA Cup returned on Wednesday night as six blockbuster clashes pitted some of the nation's domestic powerhouses against each other.
It was a footballing feast on Fox Sports as goals galore provided excitement across the fixtures.
HERE'S A FULL WRAP OF THE FFA CUP R32 ACTION...
AVONDALE 4-1 MARCONI STALLIONS
Avondale FC's meteoric rise from suburban obscurity has continued with a 4-1 rout of Marconi to progress to the next round of the FFA Cup. Based in Melbourne's north-west, Avondale were in the lowly sixth tier of Victorian football in 2009 but won promotion five times over the next six seasons to reach the NPL, the state's top league.
They have now made their mark on the national stage at their very first attempt - against one of Australia's most illustrious clubs in Marconi, four-time champions of the National Soccer League.
Goals from Kane Sheppard, Joey Katebian, Liam Boland and Evan Christodoulou did the damage for the 'Avengers' in Wednesday night's round of 32 clash at ABD Stadium in Broadmeadows.
Sheppard opened the scoring in just the second minute with a brilliant piece of individual skill, turning Marconi's defence inside out to give Avondale a dream start.
But the visitors responded just a few minutes later with another stunning goal as James Andrews bamboozled three defenders with a stuttering run along the edge of the penalty area, before unleashing a curling shot that snuck inside the right post.
Marconi had the better of the play for the rest of the first half but couldn't capitalise, and were made to pay in the 54th minute when former Brisbane Roar striker Katebian put Avondale back in front.
Boland added another from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute after he was needlessly brought down by goalkeeper Nenad Vekic before Christodoulou sealed the deal in the dying minutes.
Elsewhere on the tournament's opening night, Lions FC held off a ferocious comeback from NPL Queensland rivals Olympic to win 3-2 in Brisbane. Olympic were 2-0 down early in the first half but drew level with nine minutes to go - only for substitute Carter Glockner to restore Lions' advantage three minutes from time.
Newcastle-based Broadmeadow Magic enjoyed a 4-1 win over a 10-man Canberra FC in the capital, while APIA Leichhardt Tigers also tasted victory on the road with a 1-0 result at the Port Melbourne Sharks.
A-League teams begin play in the FFA Cup next week.
- Vince Rugari, AAP
PORT MELBOURNE SHARKS 0-1 APIA LEICHHARDT
NSW NPL league leaders APIA scored on the cusp of halftime to send themselves through to the Round of 16.
It proved to be the lone and decisive goal, coming care of a mistake from Port Melbourne keeper Matthew Symons as he allowed Tasuku Sekiya to fire home from a tight near post angle.
CANBERRA FC 1-4 BROADMEADOW MAGIC
The Magic finally snapped their Round of 32 curse on a chilly night in Canberra as they dispatched the ACT side 4-1.
The Northen NSW team had lost their previous three journeys to this stage of the competition, but they got the job done emphatically on this occasion despite trailing 1-0 after just 12 minutes care of a Thomas James strike.
From there they were dominant, as Kale Bradbury and John Majurovski led from the front, scoring three times between them.
Canberra's Daniel Subasic was sent off for a second yellow card offence late in the match, while midfielder Ian Graham also missed a penalty to add salt to their wounds.
Dino Fajkovic iced the cake on 78 minutes as they skipped away to a big win.
LIONS FC 3-2 OLYMPIC FC
In the most thrilling of the six clashes, a Queensland derby was decided by an 87th minute winner after an incredible comeback.
Lions looked to be headed for a big victory as they jumped out to a two goal lead via goals from Matija Simic and Jheison Macuace.
But Olympic flew out of the blocks in the second half, slamming home two of their own to level the scores - with Zelfy Nazary and Jez Lofthouse getting on the scoresheet.
But in a cruel twist of fate, just six minutes after the leveller, substitute Carter Glockner popped up to seal a dramatic victory amid calls for offside.
GWELUP CROATIA 0-4 ADELAIDE COMETS
Second tier WA outfit Gwelup Croatia defied the odds to reach the Round of 32 but couldn't continue their giant killing ways when pitted against Adelaide Comets.
The lone remaining South Australian representatives ran out convincing winners in the west, slamming home four goals to earn progression to the Round of 16.
Goals went to Tom Briscoe, Terence Carter, Nathan Andijanto and a penalty netted by Allan Welsh.
BONNYRIGG WHITE EAGLES 2-1 HAKOAH SYDNEY CITY EAST
Bonnyrigg netted two sensational goals to earn their progression to the Round of 16 at the expense of Hakoah.
The NPL rivals had met on two previous occasions this season, with Hakoah emerging victorious both times - but the Eagles got the job done on the biggest stage.
Cracking strikes from Aaron Avery and Asmir Kadic completed a stunning win, with a Mitch Stamatellis penalty proving purely a late consolation for the boys from the east.