Words: Thibault Berthier & Michael Flynn | Image: Joel Mulvenney
Gold Coast City defender Eoghan Murphy says City are back where they belong after securing passage to the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32.
City booked their place in the competition’s national stages with a comprehensive 5-1 win over Caloundra FC at Duncan McKenna Field on Saturday night– star striker Jarrod Kyle stealing the limelight with four goals.
Kyle opened the scoring early in the contest with a composed one-on-one finish before the plucky visitors levelled just minutes later via Kaine Frew.
However, it was one-way traffic from there on as Kyle struck twice more to seal a first-half hat-trick – rounding the goalkeeper Dale Hill for his second before smashing his third from the top of the box.
Caloundra’s fading hopes of a comeback dissipated before half-time with the dismissal of Reece Dalton for a second yellow card and City’s fourth goal via a well-taken strike from Nikola Mirkovic at the edge of the penalty area.
City rounded out the scoring in the closing stages of the second half when Kyle converted his fourth at point blank range from a Benjamin Lyvidikos cross.
City’s night was tarnished in the closing stages, however, when City fullback Matthew Schmidt was shown the second red card of the match.
However, there was no denying the enthusiasm of defender Murphy post-match as he lauded his side’s performance and their return to the national stage.
“It was a really good result. Games like that can go one of two ways, but our quality shone through,” Murphy said.
“We fought well, we took our chances and stayed pretty sound at the back which is always important because you don’t want to leak silly goals.”
“We put the pressure on and we took our chances which is probably the most important thing that we can do.”
Murphy is also adamant that City are back to their rightful position among the country’s elite – the third time the club has reached the glamour stages of the competition in four years.
“With the way we’ve been performing so far this season, there was no doubt in my mind that we’d qualify for this.”
“We belong on the national stage. We’re one of the best teams in the country,” he concluded.
The Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 marks the entry point for the ten Hyundai A-League clubs into the competition and the possibility of interstate opponents being drawn.
Fellow Queensland clubs Brisbane Roar, FNQ Heat, Peninsula Power and Moreton Bay United will join City in the next round.
The draw for the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 will be broadcast LIVE by Fox Sports on Tuesday, June 29.
Westfield FFA Cup 2017 – Preliminary Round 7
Saturday, June 10
Duncan McKenna Field, Palm Beach
Gold Coast City FC – 5 (Jarrod KYLE 10’ 26’ 38’ 80’, Nikola MIRKOVIC 45’)
Caloundra FC – 1 (Kaine FREW 13’)
Gold Coast City FC – 1. Matthew STEIN, 2. Riley DILLON, 4. Martin VAZQUEZ, 5 Matthew SCHMIDT, 6. Roman HOFMANN, 8. Justyn MCKAY (13. Austin LUDWIK 65’), 9. Jarrod KYLE, 11. Nikola MIRKOVIC (14. Benjamin LYVIDIKOS 79’), 15. Eoghan MURPHY, 21. Sam SMITH (12. Rhys SAUNDERS 53’), 22. Jaiden WALKER