National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland side Magpies Crusaders have escaped a late comeback from Coomera Colts to secure a 2-1 win and book their spot in the FFA Cup Round of 16.
Last night’s match was just the third all-Queensland FFA Cup match in the history of the competition with 732 spectators turning out to watch both clubs make club history at Sologinkin Oval in Mackay.
Gold Coast Premier League’s Coomera Colts came into the match the lowest-placed side in the Round of 32 and were looking to continue their fairytale run against 12th-placed NPL Queensland team Magpies Crusaders.
However despite a late goal to Payden Pemberton, their Cup run came to an end last night.
Magpies Crusaders winger Mitch Hermann and Michael Lyall led the attacking charge as they tried to find an early breakthrough.
Hermann had one of the best early chances as his shot flashed across the front of goal and Lyall’s penalty shout was waved away by Queensland referee Chris Beath.
While the Mackay-based side was sharing majority of the possession in the first half, Coomera were holding their own but didn’t have many clear cut chances in the first 45, as some poor first touches and inaccurate passes caused them to lose the ball in valuable positions.
At the other end of the field, Coomera goalkeeper Perry Moore was keeping a strong Magpies attack at bay, defusing Lyall’s attempt halfway through the first 45 minutes.
However, Lyall wasn’t to be denied again when Hermann took the ball into the box before passing to his captain who opened the scoring in the 39th minute.
Following the break, Coomera came out and began to dominate the run of play as they were able to create chances, but converting them wasn’t coming easily.
Magpies had numbers back and needed to defend with just their slim 1-0 lead.
However their break came late in the second half when against the run of play Kyren Walters took the ball up to the box and struck with power, finding the back of the net to extend his side’s lead in the 76th minute.
It was a blow for the Colts who had been doing well in attack and creating chances, but failing to convert these into goals.
With nothing left to lose, Coomera threw everything they had at Magpies, with the game becoming more physical as the home side fought to maintain a clean sheet, and their 2-0 lead.
The Gold Coast side meanwhile went searching for a comeback, as they had done previously in their upset victory over Redlands United in Round 5 of the FFA Cup.
The visitors managed to find a goal in the 86th minute through Payden Pemberton, but it proved only consolation with only four minutes left to play and Coomera unable to find a second goal in quick succession to lock the game up.
Magpies Crusaders were the first Queensland team to book their spot in the FFA Cup Round of 16, with fellow NPL Queensland side Olympic FC also prevailing in their game later the same night.
Image: Alison Langevad