National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland side Magpies Crusaders bowed out of the FFA Cup last night, falling to a 4-0 defeat against Moreland Zebras in their Round of 16 clash at CB Smith Reserve.
The Mackay-based side travelled south to take on the NPL 2 Victoria’s Moreland Zebras in North Melbourne in front of a crowd of 1,325, after beating fellow Queensland side Coomera Colts in the Round of 32.
The hosts first found the back of the net in the 18th minute through the head of Thomas Barforosh.
The Mackay side took their time to settle into the game, with many early passes short of the mark as the midfielders slowly eased into the match to regain some control.
Magpies had a great opportunity to level the scores minutes after the first goal when a deflection landed at Mitch Hermann’s feet in a promising position just metres from the goal, but his shot was comfortably saved by Moreland’s keeper.
Barforosh completed his brace just ten minutes later, doubling the Victorian side’s lead with another header from close range following a pinpoint cross from his winger.
On the stroke of half time, Magpies’ Hermann looked to have made up for his earlier missed shot as his long-range free kick found the back of the net, but the goal was disallowed as the referee judged Kyren Walters had impeded a defender in the box.
Following the break, Magpies Crusaders came agonisingly close to finding the back of the net as skipper Michael Lyall’s free kick missed the top right corner by just inches in the 53rd minute.
Just two minutes later, Moreland Zebras found their third with a ball in behind to set up Tremayne Sadler for the goal.
The night took a further turn for the worse for Magpies as Walter was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle.
Minutes after another Lyall free kick that the side failed to convert into a goal, the hosts found their final goal for the night.
A poor clearance in the 75th minute saw a Moreland midfielder with the ball 30 yards out, before the ball was blasted past Magpies keeper Mitch Wright by Liam Cannell.
With that, the Victorian side booked their spot in the next round, making history by becoming the lowest-ranked club and the first NPL 2 side to ever qualify for the FFA Cup Quarter Finals.
Fellow NPL Queensland side Olympic FC also bowed out of the FFA Cup last night, falling to a 3-2 defeat against Hyundai A-League Adelaide United at Perry Park.
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