Strikers Oust City In FFA Cup

Brisbane Strikers ended Brisbane City’s Westfield FFA Cup aspirations for another year after ousting their near neighbours 4-1 at Perry Park on Tuesday night.

Jheison Macuace scored a second half brace for Strikers to add to Josh McVey’s early opener before Scot Coulson sealed the win with thirteen minutes remaining.

The result means Strikers are the first PlayStation® 4 NPL Queensland club to advance to Brisbane Zone Qualifying Round 6.

With the clubs sitting at opposite ends of the league table, the hosting Strikers went into the tie as favourites and duly threatened early as Trent Clulow shot over the crossbar inside five minutes.

Strikers edged ahead soon after when Clulow turned provider to McVey, who controlled with his chest before tucking his shot past City goalkeeper Matthew Lugo.

The hosts continued to dominate possession as McVey, Macuace and Josh Ahern forced repeated saves from Lugo, whose efforts kept the visitors in the contest in the opening stanza.

City threatened haphazardly on the counter-attack but clear cut chances proved elusive throughout the half – Pazung Thang and Ryan Roderick seeing the best opportunities from defensive lapses to force a pair of telling stops from Strikers goalkeeper Michael Weier.

Shortly after the restart, McVey struck the crossbar as Strikers sought to avoid letting the tie slip.

Macauce finally doubled the advantage on 53 minutes, turning sharply to control a cross and delivering a composed finish from close range.

Four minutes later the Colombian striker secured his brace with a volleyed finish at the back post after being found by Clulow’s cross.

Defender David Salin struck the post just after the hour mark from a free-kick before Coulson effectively ensured Strikers’ progress by glancing home a header from Sam Knight’s cross on 77 minutes.

City pulled a goal back in the final ten minutes when Nick Buckley delivered a strong finish from a well-worked indirect free-kick, but it would prove only to be a consolation.

The result continues City’s record of never winning a Westfield FFA Cup match after also being eliminated at the first qualifying hurdle in 2014.

Speaking post-match, City coach Darron Heseldon conceded his young side were second best throughout the contest.

“The young fellows that we played got a lesson tonight. Strikers are a very good side and they don’t let you play and they don’t let you off,” he said.

Strikers coach Kevin A’herne-Evans highlighted the contribution of his front three, especially McVey who has struggled with injury in recent times.

“It was really good to see individuals have some big performances like Josh McVey – it was terrific to see him back on the pitch and free from injury or niggle or anything and I thought he was excellent for us,” he said.

Brisbane Strikers FC  4 (Josh MCVEY 6’, Jheison MACUACE 53’ 57’, Scot COULSON 77’)

Brisbane City FC  1 (Nick BUCKLEY 84’)