Avondale 'on the map' with sparkling night in FFA Cup spotlight
FFA Cup ace Liam Boland hailed Avondale FC's first victory on the national stage as a landmark moment for a club that has risen from the depths.
Boland netted one of three second-half goals as Avondale blew away Marconi Stallions to win 4-1 at ABD Stadium and progress to the FFA Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday night.
It was the Victorian club's maiden appearance at a national level and marked their arrival as a genuine force following an incredible run of five promotions in six seasons.
Boland, who famously scored a stunning winner for Green Gully against Central Coast Mariners two seasons ago, described the success as vindication for a club-wide effort.
"It's a family club here at Avondale," the 26-year-old told Fox Sports.
"They've come up from the lowest ranks of Victorian football so you can see how much it means to everyone here.
"We're just happy we could repay them and get a win for them and go on to the next stage.
"It's putting the club on the map really."
Avondale delighted the home fans by going ahead in just the second minute through Kaine Sheppard, although their joy was short-lived as James Andrew instantly replied for Marconi.
Anthony Barbieri's side responded to the challenge and piled on three further goals after half-time to completely overwhelm one of Australia's most famous outfits.
"The boys were brilliant tonight," Boland said.
"We really pulled together at half-time and thought after them pressing us in the first half that we'd have a good crack at them in the second, and we did.
"Our coach had confidence in us and we had confidence in ourselves, so that was the most important thing."
Joey Katebian and Evan Christodoulou were the other scorers on Avondale's dream night in the spotlight.
The NPL Victoria side could now be drawn against Hyundai A-League opposition in the last 16, with further Round of 32 matches to follow next Wednesday, August 1.