Boland, 28, of Melbourne NPL club Avondale FC is famous for some spectacular FFA Cup goals. 

He scored against Sydney FC but it was one of 2016's goals of the year against A-League club Central Coast Mariners in the FFA Cup that put him on the world map, and on the radar of the Maltese national team. 


NPL star on viral FFA Cup goal that stunned the world

If you truly love football in Oz, then Liam Boland’s epic FFA Cup stoppage-time winner for NPL underdogs Green Gully would surely rank high.

The tall striker with Maltese heritage (Boland’s grandfather on his mother’s side was born in Malta) headed to Europe after his club season was completed.

Boland was invited by the Maltese FA and ended up in a training camp with Malta’s national team ahead of a FIFA World Cup 2018 Group F qualifier against Slovenia. 

Their group also included favorites England, who edged Malta 2-0 at Wembley a month earlier. 

With the timings not in Boland’s favor - his season had ended two months earlier - his chances of international football were slim but he did make a strong impression on Maltese legend Michael Mifsud. 

“Unfortunately I arrived lacking match fitness,” Boland tells FTBL from self-isolation in Melbourne. 

“I had two weeks in Malta. I was close to getting into the squad."

Mifsud soon realised Boland was from Melbourne and immediately the banter began. 
The "Maltese Messi" (striped shirt, center) during his 2013 stint with A-League outfit Melbourne Heart
The Maltese legend - famous for scoring against Manchester United for Coventry City - had a stint in the Australian pro ranks at A-League outfit Melbourne Heart. 
The move never really worked, although Mifsud showed occasional signs of his quality. 

But even with Harry Kewell alongside him, Mifsud frustratingly couldn't find the net regularly for one of the A-League's new clubs in the southern state.