Hat-trick hero Chris Lucas ready for an all-Victorian showdown

He’s the ninth player to ever score a hat-trick in the FFA Cup Round of 32 or beyond, and just the fourth to do it for a non-Hyundai A-League club.

It took Chris Lucas just 24 minutes to snag the hat-trick and they were deserved goals for a player who ran rings around a young Broadmeadow Magic defender.

His Bentleigh Greens side cruised to victory in that Round of 16 match 4-0 and earned their place in the quarter-finals of the FFA Cup 2018.

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It puts Lucas in some very esteemed company – the likes of Australia superstar Aaron Mooy, and Hyundai A-League legends in Bobo and Besart Berisha have also scored hat-tricks in the FFA Cup.

“It’s great being part of history in the FFA Cup,” Lucas said.

“When I first scored the hat trick I wasn’t evener ally thinking about being part of history or anything like that. Then I saw all the headlines after the game and FFA posting about it… it was a bit surreal.

“I’m looking to hopefully grabbing a few goals against Heidelberg.”

Chris Lucas Bentleigh Greens
Lucas enjoyed his trip up to Broadmeadow.

And what a huge match that quarter-final clash will be – Bentleigh Greens up against Heidelberg United, for a spot in the FFA Cup 2018 Semi-Finals.

It’s a battle of 1st versus 2nd in the NPL Victoria, with Bentleigh Greens finishing just one point behind Heidelberg in the league standings.

Although winning the league is the number one priority for just about any club, there’s no denying that Bentleigh would take immense pleasure in beating Heidelberg and secure their second ever FFA Cup Semi-Final berth.

The importance of the match and the rivalry between the two clubs isn’t lost on Chris Lucas.

“It’s been a massive rivalry, every single is just a battle with Heidelberg. It’s always been a pretty physical match against them every time,” Lucas said.

“I wouldn’t call it dirty but it’s the old-fashioned football where everyone’s just going in hard everywhere, whereas if you’re versing an Avondale we’re more focused on our football and playing around them and everything.

“It’s a totally different game against Heidelberg which makes it hard for us because we’re obviously looking to play more so on the ground and play football around them.

“But it turns into a physical battle with them every time.”

Heidelberg may come into this match as NPL Victoria champions, with their grand final clash against Avondale pencilled in for Sunday evening.

It’s a trophy which Bentleigh should be competing for, having led Avondale 3-1 with just minutes to go in extra-time of their semi-final clash last weekend.

An incredible fightback saw Avondale do the impossible and beat Bentleigh 4-3 – a result which Lucas puts down to complacency.

“As soon as we went 3-1 up in extra time we all thought we had it pretty much wrapped up. Even the commentator looking back on the highlights thought we wrapped it up,” Lucas said.

“Unfortunately, a bit of bad luck went our way and two own goals you wouldn’t really read about it, would you? It crushed us really.

“You see it happen around the other parts of the club but you never think it’d happen to your own team. We’ve just got to live with it and move on and look forward to the next FFA Cup game.”

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This article was originally published on the FFA Cup website.
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