Socceroos superstar Tim Cahill made his Melbourne City debut as a substitute as the big spenders survived a scare to defeat Brisbane Strikers 2-1 in the FFA Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday night.
Brisbane Strikers 1 Melbourne City 2
City survived a scare against the Strikers thanks to a double from 2015-16 A-League Golden Boot Bruno Fornaroli, both coming from the spot.
Brisbane went ahead when defender Greig Henslee swept home from a free-kick, creating dreams of a fairy tale result.
However, Fornaroli equalised less than five minutes later from the spot after Henslee fouled inside the box.
Another penalty from the Uruguayan proved the winner after Jake Marshall hauled down Bruce Kamau.
Tim Cahill, who came off the bench on 64 minutes wanted to take the spotkick, but skipper Fornaroli pulled rank.
Hume City 0 Melbourne Victory 1
The holders progressed in front of 2,866 at Broadmeadows. Unfortunately for Hume it was a penalty which separated the two teams.
After 26 minutes Fahid Ben Khalfallah had his shirt tugged by Jeremy Walker in the penalty area. The spot kick was awarded by referee Shaun Evans and it was converted by Besart Berisha.
After an hour played Victory could have been up 2-0 after Alan Baro played in a sizzling through ball to Berisha, however it was flagged offside.
Hume showed their tenacity after the 65th minute, Nick Hegarty’s run into the box turned Jason Geria inside out and the shot was deflected off Baro. The ball landed to Kym Harris whose attempt was blocked by Daniel Georgievski.
In the final minute Harris had a shot which hit the side netting which sent the home fans into raptures momentarily. Victory managed to contain with just the one goal separating the two.
Blacktown City 3 Bonnyrigg White Eagles 0
Patrick Antelmi scored a double with goals in the 22nd and 66th minutes, the latter superbly assisted by Danny Choi, who scored a wonder goal in the Round of 32.
Joey Gibbs scored a fine curling free-kick on 56 minutes as Blacktown became the first New South Wales NPL club to reach the final eight.
Canberra Olympic 2 Redlands United 0
Goalkeeper Angelo Konstantinou scored the opening goal of the game from the spot after 15 minutes to help Olympic become the first ACT club into the cup quarter-finals.
Robbie Cattanach, who won the early penalty, added a second from the spot in second-half stoppage-time.