REPORT: Late penalty pain stings City

Melbourne City FC were knocked out of the FFA Cup by Sydney FC on Tuesday night by two late Ali Abbas penalties.

Two late penalties in extra time saw Melbourne City FC suffer a 3-1 loss against Sydney FC in the Westfield FFA Cup on Tuesday night.

Corey Gameiro’s strike for Sydney in the 23rd minute was cancelled out by a Nick Kalmar header in the 64th minute, sending the Round of 32 tie into extra-time. Two penalties to Sydney in the second half of extra time sealed the result for the visitors.

Jason Hoffman was outpaced by Gameiro for the first penalty and the full-back received a straight red for denying a goal-scoring opportunity, while Robbie Wielaert brought down Terry Antonis for the second spot kick. Ali Abbas calmly slotted home both penalties in the same bottom left corner to seal Sydney FC's passage into the Round of 16.

On a chilly night in Ballarat, over 2,800 fans braved the cold conditions at Morshead Park and were treated to an intriguing contest.

With both sides aiming to play out from the back, Melbourne City FC looked to keep Sydney pinned in their own back third and enjoyed the lion's share of possession in the early exchanges.

In-form Sydney striker Gameiro was the man to watch heading into Tuesday's clash and the Sydney striker fired an early warning sign at Melbourne City FC's goal in the second minute.

The home side looked to exploit its pace and crossing ability on the wings through a front three of Damien Duff, David Williams and Mate Dugandzic, and the the trio threatened early - with the most notable chance an appeal for handball, which was waved away by referee Shaun Evans as Williams headed his effort into the back of Nikola Petkovic.

Sydney moved into the ascendancy after early nerves settled and it was Gameiro who opened the scoring. Dugandzic lost possesion in Sydney FC's box and a swift switch of play and a quick through ball from Matt Jurman down the left wing looked to put Gameiro through.

Gameiro used his pace to chase down the loose ball, forcing Melbourne City FC stopper Andrew Redmayne to commit - and Sydney's nippy striker beat Melbourne’s ‘keeper to the punch, poking the ball into the unguarded net.

Chances were few and far between for the rest of the half, but the endevaour and effort was evident - with Aaron Mooy a particular standout for Melbourne.

Melbourne City FC began the second half the better of the two sides with Duff and Williams creating half chances on goal. It was third time lucky for Melbourne as Kalmar brought the sides back to parity following a well-executed set-piece.

An inch-perfect free kick from Aaron Mooy found Kalmar unmarked in the box, with the midfielder nodding over the motionless Vedran Janjetovic in the 64th minute.

The goal sparked the game into life with a more end-to-end affair unfolding. Sydney’s best chance of the second half came when Gameiro found himself in the box with Redmayne to beat, but the Melbourne custodian was quick to smother the chance.

Both sides were tentative in the final stages of the match but the clock wound down and Evans blew the whistle for full time, sending the match into two extra periods of 15 minutes.

The first half of extra-time was almost advantage Melbourne, as Mooy tried to stun the 2,800 crowd with a long-range strike that shaved the top of the bar.

However, it was the second half where the action began to unfold. Dugandzic had a strike blocked in Sydney's penalty area - and with the richocet falling kindly for the visitors, Sydney countered. The swift counter saw the dangerous Gameiro one-on-one with Hoffman and with speed to burn, the Sydney striker beat the Melbourne full-back and initiated contact to win the foul. Hoffman was dissmissed as Abbas powered home the resulting penalty past the outstretched hand of Redmayne.

Sydney FC continued to press forward and were rewarded with another penalty as Terry Antonis collided with Wielaert on the edge of the area. Abbas made no mistake from the spot, sending Redmayne the wrong way and his side into the last 16 of the Westfield FFA Cup. 

Match Details

Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Melbourne City FC 1 (Kalmar 64')

Sydney FC 3 (Gameiro 23’, Abbas 111’ [PEN], 114’ [PEN]) AET

Venue: Morshead Park, Ballarat

Attendance: 2801

Referee: Shaun EVANS

Melbourne City FC:  1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3. Robbie WIELAERT (C), 6. Aaron MOOY, 7. Iain RAMSAY, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 11. Damien DUFF  (14. James BROWN 63'), 15. David WILLIAMS  (19. Ben GARUCCIO 80'), 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 22. Nicholas KALMAR (21. Stefan MAUK 91’), 23. Mate DUGANDZIC, 24. Patrick KISNORBO.

Subs not used: 20. Tando VELAPHI (GK), 26. Ross ARCHIBALD

Yellow Cards: Ramsay 20’, Mooy 84’, Brown 92'

Red Card: Hoffman 110'

Sydney FC Starting XI: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC, 2. Seb RYALL (4. Pedj BOJIC 95’), 3. Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 5. Matt JURMAN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 7. Corey GAMEIRO, 11. Bernie IBINI (13. Alex GERSBACH 100’), 12. Hagi GLIGOR, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 19. Nick CARLE (16. Christopher NAUMOFF 77’), 22. Ali ABBAS.

Subs not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 18. Peter TRIANTIS.

Yellow Cards: Gameiro 72’, Ibini 89'

Red Cards: Nil