Bentleigh Greens have booked an FFA Cup Rd of 16 home cup tie against an A-League opponent following a hard fought extra time penalty shoot-out win away to fellow NPL club Hume City on Wednesday night.
In doing so, the club from Melbourne’s south-east confirmed itself as the member federation club with the highest number of wins in the competition’s history.
But the Greens needed the lottery of a penalty shoot-out plus some goal-keeping heroics from keeper Ryan Scott to get it over the line against a determined Hume City at a wind-swept ABD stadium. In fact both keepers could be said to have played their part in Bentleigh’s win. Hume City keeper Michael Weier played a role in the 10th minute when he gifted the Greens the opening goal of the match. Weier’s attempted clearance was charged down and rebounded into his own net by Bentleigh midfielder Tyson Holmes. The Greens went on to dominate possession and crosses into the box in the opening half, but the complexion of the game changed in the second half when a Liam Boland pirouette led to an assist for Jayden Prasad who fired his right foot shot past Scott for Hume’s 61st minute equaliser.
Thereafter, the Greens no longer looked in control of the game in a scrappy second half, although Holmes thought he’d scored a late winner only to be ruled offside.
The home team came closest to winning the game in extra time when holding midfielder Daniel Clarke’s penetrating run into a tiring Greens defence took him into the box and his shot cannoned off the upright.
Greens won the toss and drew first blood in the penalty shoot-out when Ben Litfin sent the keeper the wrong way. Hume striker Attila Ofli missed the target altogether with his team’s first penalty, before the Greens’ Matt Thurtell once again sent the keeper the wrong way. Then came a pivotal moment in the shoot-out when Greens keeper Ryan Scott guessed the right way to parry Jayden Prasad’s shot. Dover extended the Greens’ lead to 3-0 before Kaya scored Hume’s only penalty goal to make it 3-1, and leaving it to Ross Honos to score the sealer by once more sending the keeper the wrong way.
The win means the Greens join South Melbourne and Heidelberg United in the Rd of 16 of the FFA Cup, the draw for which took place immediately after the shoot-out.
Round of 16 FFA Cup Draw:
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
South Melbourne v Sorrento FC
Moreton Bay v Gold Coast City
Sydney United v Heidelberg united
Blacktown City v Apia Leichhardt
Bentleigh Greens V Western Sydney Wanderers
Hakoah Sydney v Melbourne City
Bankstown Berries v Sydney FC