Sharks win Cup epic on penalties

Palm Beach SC twice fought back to level terms before prevailing in an epic penalty shoot-out against Broadbeach United on Tuesday night in the Westfield FFA Cup.

Both sides went through their full complement of players as they exchanged a total of 26 penalties before Roman Hofmann ultimately delivered the deciding strike after the teams were locked 3-3 at the end of extra time.

Sharks fought from two goals down in the second half via late goals to Ethan Grimley and Daniel Grzic before again falling behind early in the first period of extra time.

However, Nik Mirkovic forced the sudden death shoot-out with another equaliser for last year’s Westfield FFA Cup Quarter Finalists on 112 minutes.

Following a slow start, Sharks saw the better of the first half but proved unable to put their chances away.

Eoghan Murphy spurned an early chance for Sharks when he shot wide of the target, before Matt Jones forced a sharp save from the Broadbeach goalkeeper prior to half-time.

The hosts took the lead shortly after the restart through skipper Justin Watmough before Adam Powell doubled the advantage with a stunning lobbed strike from half-way just after the hour.

However, Sharks came back into the match with a little over quarter of an hour remaining when Grimley delivered an angled run before slotting his shot into the bottom corner of the goal.

An upset remained on the cards for the BLK Gold Coast Premier League side until the final minute of regulation time as Grzic delivered the equaliser following a sharp one-two set him up for a close-range finish.

The tables turned yet again early in extra-time as Broadbeach regained their lead through Croydon Wheeler’s deflected strike, before Mirkovic also benefited from a deflection after nearly two hours of football to once again restore parity.

An early Broadbeach miss in the shoot-out from Powell handed Sharks the advantage before Kristian Rees struck the crossbar with the fourth penalty kick for the visitors.

The sides exchanged scores from the spot until Sharks goalkeeper Ryan Meskell denied Powell again with Broadbeach’s thirteenth attempt of the night to allow Hofmann to ultimately seal the win.

Speaking post-match, Sharks coach Grae Piddick was full of praise for the determination shown by his charges to fight back in what proved to be an epic struggle.

“I don’t think we were ever in front in the whole game but we got there in the end so hopefully that’s the tonic we need to really kick-on.”

He added, “(The team) are going to be dead tired but better to be dead tired with the win then with not.”

Broadbeach United FC  3 (Justin WATMOUGH 50’, Adam POWELL 65’, Croydon WHEELER 98’)
Palm Beach SC  3 (Ethan GRIMLEY 73’, Daniel GRZIC 90’, Nik MIRKOVIC 112’)

Palm Beach win 12-11 on penalties.

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