The final stretch on the road to the Round of 32 is upon us, with just four mouth-watering matches remaining.
Gold Coast teams have been the story of this year’s competition so far, with all three South East Queensland (SEQ) fixtures to be played on the coast this round.
Four National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland teams, one Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) side, two Gold Coast Premier League teams and one North Queensland Premier League outfit are left to fight it out for the remaining spots in the Round of 32.
Read the previews for Round 7 of the qualification pathways below.
Gold Coast Knights v Brisbane Strikers
Friday, 7 June, 7:30pm
Croatian Sports Centre
In an all-NPL Queensland clash, third-placed NPL side Gold Coast Knights will host eighth-placed Brisbane Strikers in a blockbuster Round 7 match.
The hosts fought back from 2-0 down to force their Round 6 FFA Cup clash against fellow NPL side Peninsula Power into extra time, recording a come-from-behind win to eliminate the NPL ladder leaders last round.
Strikers meanwhile recorded a 4-1 victory over Eastern Suburbs FC in their Round 6 game to secure their spot in this round, just one win away from the coveted Round of 32.
When they met in the NPL Queensland this season, Gold Coast Knights put six goals past Strikers in their Round 12 match, however Strikers have gained momentum since, winning four of their six games since that outing.
Surfers Paradise Apollo v Olympic FC
Saturday, 8 June, 4:00pm
Lex Bell Oval
Round 7 of the FFA Cup will see a battle of the Greek clubs as Gold Coast Premier League side Surfers Paradise Apollo host NPL Queensland club Olympic FC on Saturday afternoon.
The Gold Coast Premier League side produced a cupset last round to knock NPL Queensland’s Moreton Bay United out of the cup competition.
The Brisbane-based side Olympic meanwhile will travel south after defeating Gold Coast side Palm Beach 4-1 last round.
Can Surfers Paradise Apollo, currently sitting in second spot on the Gold Coast Premier League ladder, produce another cupset to knock a second NPL Queensland side out of the FFA Cup?
Opponents Olympic FC will no doubt be eager to secure victory and go one better than their 2018 FFA Cup campaign, which saw them make it to the Round of 32 before they were eliminated by Lions FC.
Coomera SC v Logan Lightning
Saturday, 8 June, 7:00pm
FQPL side Logan Lightning will travel down the coast to take on Gold Coast Premier League side Coomera SC in their Round 7 clash on Saturday night.
A tight affair in the previous round of the cup saw the Gold Coast side overcome FQPL team Holland Park Hawks 3-2, while the away side didn’t have it any easier in their Round 6 win, putting three past Burleigh Heads and conceding two goals in a game that saw the Gold Coast Premier League top dogs miss out on progressing to Round 7 to face their league opposition in Coomera.
Both Coomera and Logan Lightning are sitting in the top 4 of their respective leagues, and both sides will have to be backing themselves to go through with the stakes as high as they are.
Logan Lightning have already gone one better this year than their 2018 FFA Cup campaign where they were knocked out in a Round 6 clash against Brisbane City.
Coomera on the other hand are now tantalisingly close to a Round of 32 appearance, having not made an appearance in the cup competition last year and having gone down to Broadbeach FC in Round 2 of the 2017 FFA Cup.
With the hosts already having produced a cupset this year to eliminate NPL Queensland side Redlands United in a come-from-behind extra time victory, this game could be either team’s for the taking.
Brothers Townsville v Magpies Crusaders
Saturday, 8 June, 7:00pm
Hi Vista Park
Both Brothers Townsville and Magpies Crusaders will come into Round 7 of the regional qualification pathway off the back of strong performances, with 11 goals between the two sides in the previous round of the cup competition.
Travelling north from their native Mackay to Townsville, NPL Queensland’s Magpies Crusaders will be favourites to win this clash after maintaining a clean sheet and netting four goals to defeat 3rd placed CQ Premier League side Bluebirds United in Round 6.
The hosts meanwhile will be buzzing at the chance of making it to the Round of 32, and will be looking for a repeat result of their 7-0 win against FNQ Premier League side Leichhardt FC in Round 6 of the FFA Cup.
In their 2017 FFA Cup campaign, Brothers Townsville were knocked out in the 3rd round of qualification but with Round of 32 football on the line, the stakes have never been higher.
With a long journey up the Bruce Highway in store for Magpies Crusaders, the home ground advantage may just tip the scales in favour of the hosts.