Words: Michael Flynn | Image: Sportspics
A Jarrod Kyle hat-trick has propelled Gold Coast City into the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 after a comfortable 3-1 win over Western Knights on Wednesday.
City dominated from start to finish against their Western Australian opponents to become the first Queensland club to secure their place in the next round of the national knock-out competition.
Striker Kyle stole the show for the hosts with all three goals, and set the tone with the opening goal only ten minutes into the match with a glancing headed finish.
Despite fashioning numerous chances, City had to wait until the second stanza to seal the win – Kyle’s second coming off the back of a neat turn and finish in the box, before wrapping up his hat-trick minutes later with a thundering volleyed finish.
With their cup dreams all but dusted, Knights could only find late consolation in time added on when James Burns converted after getting one-on-one with City goalkeeper Matt Stein.
The win is City’s fourth on the national stage in four years of the competition and extends its record as the most successful Queensland-based club in the competition’s history.
Speaking post-match, Kyle said he was delighted to extend his scoring record in the competition this year – his hat-trick taking his tally to nine cup goals this season.
“I’m just happy to score goals whenever I can. It doesn’t really matter if they come in the cup or the league. So long as we get the win, that’s the most important thing,” he said.
To that end, Kyle praised his teammates for their efforts in stifling a Knights side that had claimed notable scalps on their qualifying path.
“It was a really consolidated and strong team performance from the kick-off,” Kyle explained.
“There was a bit of nervous tension there towards the end of the first half but the boys showed their maturity in the second half. We showed we are ready for this competition.”
“We are happy to get to the Round of 16. It was unfortunate to concede one at the end there but we will take the win any day of the week.”
Cheered on by an official crowd of 1,033 supporters, Kyle said the atmosphere was amongst the best he had experienced at Duncan Mckenna Field.
“It was a great set-up here tonight. It was the best I’ve ever seen it – a real Palmy arena!”
Kyle added that success in the cup will not be a distraction to the club’s Premiership push in the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland.
“If anything it gives us more confidence. The more you win big games, especially coming into the finals, it gives your more experience to do it again.”
“We have been playing pressure games all year and there are more coming up. We thrive on them,” he concluded.
City will discover their next opponent in the Westfield FFA Cup via a LIVE DRAW following the completion of the Round of 32 next week.
Their attention now turns to league competition, with their next match away to Brisbane Olympic on Sunday.
Westfield FFA Cup 2017 – Round of 32
Wednesday, August 2
Duncan Mckenna Field, Palm Beach
Gold Coast City FC – 3 (Jarrod KYLE 10’ 64’ 78’)
Western Knights SC – 1 (James BURNS 90+2’)
Attendance - 1,033
Gold Coast City team – 1. Matt STEIN, 2. Riley DILLON (14. Benjamin LYVIDIKOS 67’), 4. Martin VAZQUEZ, 5. Matthew SCHMIDT, 6. Roman HOFMANN, 7. Justyn McKay (10. Jacob BOUTOUBIA 86’), 9. Jarrod KYLE, 11. Nik MIRKOVIC, 15. Eoghan MURPHY, 21. Sam SMITH (18. Jason CAMPBELL 83’), 22. Jaiden WALKER
Unused subs – 3. Oskar DILLON, 20. Joshua LANGDON