Words: Michael Flynn | Image: Patrick Leigh Perspectives
Goalkeeper Matt Stein says his teammates have silenced their critics as Gold Coast City secured a stunning 1-0 win over Moreton Bay United to advance to the Westfield FFA Cup Quarter Finals.
A dramatic extra-time penalty won and converted by Sam Smith secured City passage to the competition’s final eight in a contest that ranked as one of the most dramatic in Westfield FFA Cup history.
Smith’s maiden goal in the Westfield FFA Cup came after over 100 minutes of tension as both sides fought tooth-and-nail to gain the ascedency at Wolter Park.
Each team saw goals disallowed prior to the winner with Smith controversially adjudged off-side in the first period of extra time after nodding the ball across the line for City.
Earlier, in the second half of regular time, Jets also were frustrated when Alex Javosky’s indirect free-kick found the back of the net without being touched, seeing the goal correctly disallowed by referee Lara Lee.
The drama was further extended by a lighting failure at the commencement of extra time that saw the match delayed for quarter of an hour as electricians hurried to fix the problem.
Speaking post-match, Stein said City had pulled together stronger after the disappointment of finishing runners-up in the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland.
“It was a massive game and we had to battle until the end. We had every obstacle possible thrown at us but the boys stuck together and we got the result.”
“The loss on Saturday meant we were all up for this game. Not in a vengeance sense but it really pulled us together because we realised we hadn’t done anything yet and we needed to get this win.”
The result puts paid to a two match losing run for City and avenges City’s 3-0 defeat at the same venue against Jets just days earlier.
It also marked City’s first clean sheet in five games, however, despite some telling stops throughout the match, Stein refused to take the credit for shutting out the Jets.
“It was a massive effort from the boys in front of me. Marty and Eoghan in the middle did what they had to do but everyone – all eleven and the boys on the bench – did a job and the clean sheet really belongs to all of them,” he said.
One thing Stein did take credit for was the decision to allow Janovsky’s free-kick to go past him rather than risking a diving save.
“I asked the referee before to make sure it was indirect – and to remind her as well – and I saw their big men at the back post so I thought if I stopped it and got a bump it might get knocked in.”
“But I knew if I let it through it was the safer option. Some might say it was a howler but I guarantee it wasn’t."
"I one-hundred-percent knew what I was doing,” he concluded.
The win further extends City’s record as Queensland’s most successful club in the Westfield FFA Cup – with five wins now on the national stage and equalling their previous best run in 2014.
They are joined by South Melbourne FC, Heidelberg United and Adelaide United in the Westfield FFA Cup Quarter Finals, with the four remaining teams to be determined next week.
The club’s focus now turns to this weekend when they host Western Pride in the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Semi-Final at Duncan Mckenna Field.
Westfield FFA Cup 2017 – Round of 16
Wednesday, August 23
Wolter Park, Moreton Bay
Moreton Bay United FC – 0
Gold Coast City FC – 1 (Sam SMITH p.108’)
Gold Coast City Squad: 1. Matt STEIN, 4 Martin VAZQUEZ, 5. Matt SCHMIDT, 6. Roman HOFMANN, 7. Justyn MCKAY, 9. Jarrod KYLE (2. Riley DILLON 66’), 14. Benjamin LYVIDIKOS (19. Ethan GRIMLEY 73’), 15. Eoghan MURPHY, 18. Jason CAMPBELL (16. Tom Miller 90’), 21. Sam SMITH, 22. Jaiden WALKER
Unused Subs: 3. Oskar DILLON, 20. Joshua LANGDON