‘Bring them on’: Strikers pip Roar to make FFA Cup history
Brisbane Strikers are smashing FFA Cup records one win at a time.
After last night’s enthralling 3-2 Quarter Final win over NPL VIC 2 side Moreland Zebras, the Strikers became the first Queensland side (NPL or Hyundai A-League) to progress to the Semi Finals of the national Cup competition.
Brisbane’s record-breaking, odds-defying run has now led them to a match-up against Hyundai A-League side Melbourne City FC.
With City showing strong form in the Cup, facing Erick Mombaert's men is a prospect that could strike fear into a state level side, but not in the eyes of Strikers coach Owen Baker.
“Bring ‘em on,” Baker told Fox Sports after the win over the Zebras.
“It’s going to be an amazing Semi Final, the crowd have been amazing so we’re looking forward to it.”
Brisbane progressed to the final four after a free-scoring affair against a Moreland side who refused to say die.
The Strikers took a two-goal lead into the second half thanks to strikes from Fraser Hills and Ryan Palmer, but a Thomas Barforosh goal for Moreland in the second period meant Brisbane had to find another gear.
They did that only minutes later when Ryan Palmer scored his second and Brisbane’s third of the night.
Moreland pulled one goal back through Jakob Williams in the 82nd minute, but the Strikers proved too good on their home deck and held on for the 3-2 victory.
“It was tough. Moreland came out and were probably the better team, but we did well to get ahead,” Baker said.
“We had to battle through at the end; we probably could have killed it off, but in the end we made it hard.”
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As the final whistle blew Brisbane’s celebrations were both wild and brief, as attention quickly turned to the clubroom’s TV screen as their ball was placed in the pot for the Semi Final draw.
And with the first two balls drawn from the pot it was confirmed: Melbourne City FC, with all their riches and star players, will travel to Perry Park to face the pride of NPL QLD, Brisbane Strikers.
As the club now embarks on a two-week journey toward their biggest game since the days of the NSL, Baker will undoubtedly send his players through a rigorous training regime to ensure they’re up to the challenge.
While the players celebrated the victory of Zebras, they will shift their focus to City from next week.
“(The Semi Final) is October 2nd, so we’ll see you Monday lads," Baker said.
“We’ll look after the lads, but you dream of getting in a final so you do whatever it takes, so that’s what we’ll do.”