Oakleigh Cannons came within a whisker of forcing a penalty shoot-out in a thrilling FFA Cup quarter-final, losing instead 3-2 to a late Hume City winner deep into extra time at ABD stadium in Westmeadows on Tuesday night.

A 1,500 strong crowd witnessed a pulsating game full of goalmouth incidents, played on a perfect surface made greasy by some late afternoon rains.

The visiting Cannons twice took the lead in the first half, with left side attacker Sean Rooney at the heart of both Cannons’ goals. Dean Piemonte’s diagonal pass played Rooney in behind the City defence for the opening goal after just two minutes. But just after the quarter hour mark, Hume equalised through the buccaneering figure of Theo Markelis, whose shot from the edge of the box sailed into the net.

The Cannons’ Rooney then turned provider when his cross from the left created confusion in the Hume defence, allowing Piemonte to swoop and restore the Cannons’ lead just after 30 minutes.

In the latter part of the first half, Hume pressed forward whilst the visitors played increasingly on the counter, a pattern which was to characterise the rest of the game.

Hume came out with guns blazing in the second half, with midfielder Nick Hegarty directing traffic with his passing, shooting, crossing and taking set pieces.

Cannons’ keeper Carlos Loaiza made a number of excellent saves to maintain the Cannons’ lead, one in particular, to deny Markelis, a standout.

With just six minutes remaining, Hume got its just reward when Hegarty dispossessed Cannons’ sub Goran Zoric and set up Markelis, who turned neatly in the box to fire home his second.

In extra time Hume pinned the Cannons back in their own half, attacking in waves. Both Soheil Azagane and Matthew Hennessey had shots on goal denied by the woodwork.

The Cannons desperately tried to hold out for a penalty shoot-out and almost got there. But with two minutes to go, Hume’s Hegarty found space outside the box and fired a right foot shot straight at Cannons’ keeper Loaiza, who couldn’t hold the slippery ball. Instead it fell at his feet and Murcus Shroen pounced to tap home the winner, sending the Hume faithful into delirium and a deserved place in the FFA Cup semi-finals.