Quarter Final rematch: How beating Wanderers gave City belief in 2016

Two years on from a memorable FFA Cup Quarter Final clash, Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers are set to do it all again.

The clubs will resume hostilities next Wednesday at AAMI Park, the scene of a battle which no doubt continues to be etched in the collective memory of City supporters.

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It was a 4-1 victory in this exact fixture that instilled John van't Schip's with the belief  to put a stuttering start to their 2016 campaign in the rearview mirror as they went on to reach the decider, ultimately toppling Sydney FC for the club's first piece of men's silverware.

Early struggles

City's sensational end to the FFA Cup in 2016 belied what was an inconspicuous start to the tournament.

They only edged past National Premier Leagues opposition in each of their first two outings, with goals from Nick Fitzgerald and Anthony Caceres earning a nervy 2-1 win over Floreat Athena in Perth in the Round of 32.

The same scoreline followed against Brisbane Strikers in the Round of 16, but not for some Bruno Fornaroli heroics.

City found a winner with 13 minutes left when Fornaroli converted a second penalty to send City into the quarters with a 2-1 win.

Having seen his side fall behind to a shock Strikers opener, Fornaroli converted a pair of penalties either side of half-time to salvage what was Tim Cahill's debut for the club.

Such struggles to reach the Quarter Finals could hardly have contrasted more greatly for the carnage Van't Schip's team produced once they got there.

Jakobsen stunner highlights flying start

Unlike their sluggish start in the opening two encounters, City were irresistible in the early exchanges of an unsuspecting Western Sydney's trip south.

Wanderers had elsewhere racked up eight goals, including a confident 5-1 outclassing of Edgeworth FC, and could hardly have expected being so thoroughly outplayed over the initial half-hour.

The opener came just three minutes into the match, and it was truly spectacular: the visitors failed to clear a free-kick and defender Michael Jakobsen thumped in a left-footed overhead to set the standard.

Tony Popovic's men were struggling to cope and the inevitable second came courtesy of Fornaroli, the Uruguayan tapping home Cahill's cut-back.

City were by then well on the way to a famous night, and it only got better on the stroke of half-time.

Cahill adds the gloss

Wanderers' night went from troubling to disastrous when Nikolai Topor-Stanley bundled over Fornaroli in the box and was shown a red card.

City's star striker selflessly offered the chance for Cahill to open his City account, the marquee man rifling into the roof of the net to end all doubt over the result within 45 minutes.

The in-command hosts notched a fourth through Fernando Brandan midway through the second stanza 

Cahill went on to add a second FFA Cup goal to his resume – an unforgettable winner in the Final – and now a new-look City will get the chance to prove they can contest for silverware without the Caltex Socceroos great.

City players celebrate Michael Jakobsen's stunning goal.
City players celebrate Michael Jakobsen's stunning goal.
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This article was originally published on the FFA Cup website.
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