The Roar
The Roar


Magic of the Cup: A-League champions bow out at hands of second-tier Sydney United

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14th August, 2022

Western United have suffered a shock round of 16 loss in the Australia Cup, losing 4-3 on penalties to National Premier Leagues NSW side Sydney United.

Prohibitive favourites to win Sunday’s round of 16 clash of the national knockout competition, Western United were stunned in the penalty shootout after the scores were locked 1-1 after 120 minutes.

A Western United counter-attack produced the first goal of the tie at Sydney United Sports Centre when Connor Pain latched onto a cross on the stroke of halftime.

But Sydney United found the equaliser on 55 minutes after Tariq Maia rifled a long-range shot that wrong-footed Western United goalkeeper Jamie Young.

Western United had their chance to seal the match inside 90 minutes but on more than one occasion they were denied by goalkeeper Danijel Nizic.

It was an entree of what was to come from Nizic, who saved Western United’s fifth penalty – diving low to his left to deny Steven Lustica – before Cristian Gonzalez calmly slotted the winner in the top right corner for Sydney United.

Sydney United, who finished eighth in the National Premier Leagues NSW competition this season, are the 10th member federation team to knock out an A-League club in the Cup’s history.

They are through to the quarter-final stage for the first time after four previous round of 16 appearances.


Last season’s NPL Queensland premiers Peninsula Power also advanced, beating Melbourne-based Green Gully 2-1.