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.
With the FFA Cup Round of 32 draw tomorrow night (Wed), FTBL caught up with the Avondale goal machine in Melbourne.
The 27-year-old (who is also a photographer) is the joint top scorer in the NPL Victoria, but we wanted to chat ‘that goal’ from 2016, one which lead to a famous Cup upset for Gully over Central Coast Mariners in the R32.
Viewers across Australia were off their seats as the theatre of an FFA Cup upset played out in spectacular fashion at Gully’s modest home ground in western Melbourne.
Thanks to two late goals, the NPL side triumphed 2-1.
LIAM, WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND AS GULLY WON THE BALL IN TRANSITION?
That season, I made it my job to always have a look to see where the keeper was. And if he was off his line when we were working defensively, I’d be alert to it.
I thought it’d be on against Central Coast and luckily it was the 92nd minute when I got my chance.
I knew all game that Necevski in the Mariners goal was off his line when we’d won the ball quickly.
And, when we won it back quickly in stoppage time, I used my peripheral vision and saw he was off his line.
I didn’t look up too much as you can see from the footage.
I had a crack and couldn’t have hit the ball better. The ball definitely bobbled and I sort of hit it on a half volley.
I hit it like I was shooting the ball laces out. So I guess that makes it even more special.
EPIC CELEBRATIONS, TOO...
When it actually happened, I blacked out a little. The adrenaline was so big.
There’s actually a photo of me running with my fingers in my mouth. I’ve never done that in my life! No idea what I was thinking there.
By the time I got near the dugout, it was pandemonium. We’d had such a tough year, lots of injuries and suspensions for that game.
We were heavy underdogs. But we believed we could do it. And to win like that made it all the more special. And that what you saw in the footage.
WHAT DO YOU RECALL OF THE DRESSING ROOM THE MOST?
Playing with Roddy Vargas who was coming to an end of his career though he’s still playing now, and seeing him in tears, that’s when it kicked in how special it was.
This is what I hold close to my heart, playing with Roddy and him going back to face A-League opposition after he was a champion of the A-League.
FOR AN NPL PLAYER TO MAKE THE MAINSTREAM SPORTS BULLETINS... IT MUST'VE FELT SURREAL?
I was gobsmacked.
When Fox Sports rang me and there were cameras coming to my apartment. That’s when it made me realise how special it was.
My Dad and my family are all big football fans. So for me to do something special, was great for my family to experience it too.
I heard the goal was shown in Germany and other places around the world.
DID THE GOAL BOOST YOUR PROFILE WITH A-LEAGUE CLUBS?
I’ve never had a call from the A-League while I’ve been in Melbourne, even after some great seasons.
It’s obviously disappointing because that’s why I came here in the first place five years ago. So while I’ve been playing football, I’ve become a photographer.
I still want to go to the next level in football and we'll see what happens with a second division.
HOW DOES THE GOAL RANK IN YOUR CAREER?
It was something I’ll never forget and for my family too. A lot of people tell me to this day three years later they’ll never forget what happened that night.
It was a special moment and I’m grateful for it.