APIA's Victory giant-killing: is it the biggest shock in FFA Cup history?

There has been no shortage of epic FFA Cup shocks in the competition's four-year history.

But APIA Leichhardt's heroic 3-2 win over Melbourne Victory on Tuesday night may just trump them all.

READ: Tigers stalwart Parisi hails FFA Cup heroes after stunning Victory

READ: Grant overcomes 12-month mental battle in FFA Cup night to savour


The NPL NSW outfit were not expected to be easy-beats when Kevin Muscat's side came to town.

But after a disastrous end to the NPL NSW season, in which the Tigers lost golden boy Jordan Murray to Central Coast Mariners and handed the Premiership to Sydney Olympic on the final day of the season, APIA were beginning to run out of steam.

Their mountain was made even steeper after a demoralising NPL NSW finals series penalty shootout loss at the hands of Sydney United 58 last Saturday.

It meant APIA boss Billy McColl was left with no choice but to field the same starting eleven that went the distance with United 58 against the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions.

The heartbreak suffered by APIA in the NPL NSW season's finale may just have inspired what was a heroic performance for the ages on Tuesday. 

Led by the sensational Tasuku Sekiya, the Tigers rattled Muscat's side early on and defended desperately to preserve their one-goal advantage at half time.

And when APIA's Japanese maestro rifled home his second shortly after the interval, the Tigers were in dreamland.

Victory hit back through Kenny Athiu's brace, but a textbook crashing header from Nathan Millgate 10 minutes from full time sent Leichhardt Oval into raptures.


Victorian NPL club Bentleigh Greens wrote their name into FFA Cup folklore earlier this month by knocking Hyundai A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix out of the competition.

At the time, the Greens became just the sixth Member Federation club to topple their professional counterparts in the FFA Cup’s history, with Marco Jankovic’s first-half header enough to give them a 1-0 win despite playing the majority of the match with 10 men.



We didn’t have to wait long for an NPL club to cause a shock in this competition, with Adelaide City dumping out Western Sydney Wanderers in the Round of 32 in the very first year of the FFA Cup.

Teenager Thomas Love made national headlines when he sliced through the heart of the Wanderers defence, leaving five defenders in his wake before beating Ante Covic with an assured finish.

The incredible goal sent the 2701 fans inside Marden Sports Complex into delirium as City held on for a 1-0 win over Tony Popovic’s men.

The fact the Wanderers would go on to win the AFC Champions League title just a few months later showed how big a Cup shock Adelaide City’s triumph was.

Thomas Love
Thomas Love


Reigning Hyundai A-League champions Adelaide United were expected to have little trouble against Queensland outfit Redlands United.

But the plucky hosts through form and reputation out the window, recording a jaw-dropping 2-1 win in extra-time.

Trailing for much of the match, Redlands equalised at the death to force extra-time before electrician Paul O’Brien sparked jubilant scenes with a 98th-minute winner at Perry Park.

"I had a million things going through my head there at the end but luckily, just slotted it to the side [of Galekovic] there, and yeah, just an unbelievable feeling," O'Brien told Fox Sports at the time.

Redlands players mob Paul O'Brien after his winning goal.
Redlands players mob Paul O'Brien after his winning goal.


Just 24 hours before that Redlands upset, Green Gully embarrassed Central Coast Mariners with a stunning late win, sealed with one of the best goals in FFA Cup history.

The Mariners looked on course for the win when Blake Powell put them in front early on before the Victorian NPL side turned the match on its head in the last five minutes.

Green Gully equalised on 85 minutes with a controversial goal that appeared to be clearly offside, before Liam Boland put his name up in lights with a memorable winner.

The ball fell to the striker about 40-metres from goal and he had no hesitation but to hit it first time, with the ball sailing over keeper Ivan Necevski and into the net.

Liam Boland was Green Gully's hero against the Mariners.
Liam Boland was Green Gully's hero against the Mariners.


In one of the best performances from a Member Federation club against Hyundai A-League opposition, Victorian NPL outfit Heidelberg United knocked out Perth Glory in 2017.

George Katsakis’ men dominated the match from start to finish, with the likes of Sean Ellis, Harry Noone and Kenny Athiu stealing the show.

It was Athiu’s strike just after half-time which sealed the 1-0 win, which was far more comfortable than the scoreline suggested.

Athiu’s goal – and performances in the competition – eventually lead to ‘King Kenny’ earning a deal with Melbourne Victory.

Ken Athiu
Kenny Athiu got the winner against Perth Glory.


Former Hyundai A-League championship-winner Joey Gibbs proved the hero for Blacktown on a thrilling night at Lily Homes Stadium.

The former Sydney FC, Western Sydney and Newcastle Jets attacker scored inside two minutes as the Demons raced out to a 2-0 lead over Paul Okon’s men.

Kwabena Appiah scored a brace for the Mariners who looked to be finishing all-over the NSW NPL outfit.

But Gibbs had the final say, netting the winner with eight minutes to go as the Mariners crashed out in the Round of 32 to NPL opposition for the second time.

While the Mariners got back to 2-2, Joey Gibbs completed his brace in the second half to seal a famous 3-2 win for Blacktown.
Joey Gibbs celebrates one of his two goals against the Mariners.