Words: Thibault Berthier & Michael Flynn | Image: SportsPics
Gold Coast City striker Jarrod Kyle said his side’s battling qualities made the difference in their 1-0 win Westfield FFA cup win against Gold Coast Knights.
Kyle’s opportunistic strike with a quarter hour remaining at Duncan McKenna Field proved decisive in the typically hard-fought knock-out tie that sees City become the final Gold Coast based side remaining in this year's competition.
Following a tight and scoreless first-half, City capitalised following the dismissal of influential Knights midfielder Yuji Hirayama for a second bookable offence shortly after the hour mark.
Kyle's match-winner came when pounced on a parried save from Knights goalkeeper Tim Warren following an initial attempt from Jacob Boutoubia.
The goal is Kyle's sixth goal in all competitions this year.
Speaking post-match, Kyle said his side looked to assert themselves from the opening whistle against their local lower tier opponents.
“We always knew it was going to be a battle,” Kyle said.
He added, “If you don’t come out and get on top in the first 20 to 25 minutes, then you’re going to find yourself in trouble.”
“I think even after half time we took the game to them and dominated the rest of the match.”
Kyle said the growing importance of the Westfield FFA Cup means there are no longer any easy qualifying matches on the journey to the national Round of 32.
“The first year the cup got introduced it was taken light-heartedly, but now every team wants to be there,” he explained.
“It makes it a lot tougher for us when these teams are all hungry to make it, so when they play us we’ve got to make sure that we’re 100% ready to go.”
City now advance to face fellow PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues side SWQ Thunder in the next round in Toowoomba on Wednesday night.
Kyle knows that City’s recovery will be key to dealing with the short turnaround.
“We’ve got to make sure our recovery’s in tip top order to make sure we get to Wednesday feeling good and not fatigued because it’s another massive game.”
The winner of Wednesday’s match will advance to face Caloundra FC in the final qualifying round after the Sunshine Coast based club eliminated Bundaberg’s Brothers Aston Villa on Saturday night.
Westfield FFA Cup 2017 - Preliminary Round 5
Saturday, May 6
Duncan McKenna Field, Palm Beach
Gold Coast City FC – 1 (Jarrod KYLE 75’)
Gold Coast Knights FC – 0
Gold Coast City FC Squad: 1. Matt STEIN, 2. Riley DILLON (12.Rhys SAUNDERS 70’), 4. Martin VAZQUEZ, 5. Matthew SCHMIDT, 6. Roman HOFMANN, 7. Justyn MCKAY, 9. Jarrod KYLE, 11. Nik MIRKOVIC (3. Oskar DILLON 87’), 15. Eoghan MURPHY, 21. Sam SMITH (10. Jacob BOUTOUBIA 58’), 22. Jaiden WALKER
Unused subs: Joshua LANGDON, Benji LYVIDIKOS