Western Sydney Wanderers go through after surviving major FFA Cup scare
A double from Spanish striker Oriol Riera helped Western Sydney Wanderers avoid an FFA Cup shock as they beat Blacktown City 4-2 on penalties on Tuesday.
Wanderers turned in a lacklustre showing against the NSW NPL1 side but eventually prevailed after a 2-2 draw.
Former National Soccer League club Blacktown eliminated Central Coast Mariners last month, but there seemed little likelihood of another upset in the early stages as Riera netted from the spot after just three minutes.
They controlled possession for large passages of play at Lily Homes Stadium, but gilt-edged opportunities were few and far between in the first half.
Blacktown goalkeeper Tristan Prendergast made a couple of key blocks and his side equalised midway through the second half when substitute James Andrew raced onto a superb pass from former Sydney FC youth team player Zach Cairncross.
The goal provided added belief for City and Mitch Mallia could have given the home side an unlikely lead with a close range snapshot.
But a famous cup upset was on the cards for the sellout crowd of 4,217 when Mallia burst into the penalty area and his sweeping low cross set up Andrew at the back post 14 minutes into extra time.
Powerful No. 9 Riera saved the Wanderers' blushes with a perfectly executed headed equaliser late on.
And there was to be no fairytale for Blacktown, who missed their first two penalty kicks.