After a remarkable run of performances in the FFA Cup preliminary stages, Brisbane Strikers are back in the FFA Cup Round of 32 for the first time since 2016.
The National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland side will host Hyundai A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix this Wednesday night at Perry Park as they look to cement their spot in the FFA Cup Round of 16.
Strikers’ journey to the national stage saw them concede just four goals, and no more than a single goal per match.
Young gun Andy Pengelly has proven vital in their FFA Cup campaign so far, having already made his mark on the NPL Queensland competition, breaking the record for most goals scored in a single season over the weekend.
It has been a year of records for Strikers, with the club also breaking the record for their biggest FFA Cup win in club history in their opening match, putting 10 goals past Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) side Souths United.
Pengelly netted six in the Round 4 match, a victory that also re-ignited the team’s NPL Queensland season.
Strikers’ next clash saw them come up against long-time rivals Lions FC, with many fans expecting the reigning NPL Queensland Champions to return to the FFA Cup Round of 16 just as they did in 2018.
However after 90 minutes of football, the two sides couldn’t be separated and the game was bound for extra time.
The ever-experienced Jake McLean scored soon after extra time commenced, before Josh Matcham doubled Strikers’ lead just seven minutes later.
Lions defender Danny Kim restored some hope to his side when he pulled a goal back but as the end of extra time neared, Strikers sealed their spot in Round 6 of the FFA Cup with a Ryan Palmer goal.
After sending Lions packing, Strikers’ next task was an away match at Heath Park against Eastern Suburbs and although they went behind early, the visitors managed to draw level before taking a lead in the 73rd minute, eventually claiming a 4-1 win to progress to the final preliminary round.
A mouth-watering Round 7 clash at the Croatian Sports Centre saw mid-table Strikers come up against top four NPL Queensland side Gold Coast Knights.
Just as in their Round 6 match, Strikers went behind early as the hosts scored within six minutes, before managing to equalise to head into the break level.
Not long into the second half, it was once again Pengelly who gave Strikers the lead before McLean added to it.
The night continued to go downhill for Knights as Jarrod Kyle picked up his second yellow to receive his marching orders.
With just 14 minutes of regular time left, Strikers coach Owen Baker brought on Zach Maltby, which proved to be the right move as the youngster scored a brace to secure his side’s upset victory, and book their spot in the Round of 32.
Strikers will have a David v Goliath battle on their hands when they host Hyundai A-League club Wellington Phoenix at Perry Park this Wednesday night.
It’s just the second time Strikers have drawn a Hyundai A-League opponent after going down 2-1 to eventual FFA Cup Champions Melbourne City in 2016.
Off the back of Pengelly’s record-breaking weekend in the NPL Queensland, Strikers will look to secure another upset victory on Wednesday night to book their spot in the FFA Cup Round of 16.
Brisbane Strikers v Wellington Phoenix
Wednesday 7 August, 7:30pm
Perry Park, Bowen Hills
Tickets to the Brisbane Strikers v Wellington Phoenix Round of 32 match can be purchased from Strikers club on Junior and Senior match days, via email@example.com or at the gate on match day.