Penalty Drama As Cup Win Secured

Andrew Redmayne produced more penalty shoot-out heroics as Sydney FC beat Central Coast Mariners in a thrilling Round of 32 Australia Cup clash.

Just over a month on from winning the Socceroos a World Cup qualifier against Peru, the keeper delivered once again.

Redders brought out his dancing routine for the Sky Blues as the Mariners had one penalty saved and blazed two over the bar.

That allowed Connor O’Toole to step up and place home the crucial penalty to send the Sky Blues into the Round of 16.

Ten-man Mariners made Sydney FC work hard for the win, with a 95th minute equaliser from sub Jason Cummings taking the game to extra-time with the scores tied at 3-3.

The Sky Blues were unable to force the winner in the additional 30 minutes and had the crowd of over 3,000 on tenterhooks before securing their place in Wednesday’s draw.

Despite falling short in the shootout, the Mariners opened the scoring through Beni Nkololo as he found space in the box, turned well and finished clinically into the bottom left corner.

Sydney FC lifted the pace of the game, and the pressure paid-off when Max Burgess was felled in a tangle of legs with Daniel Hall in the 29th minute and Adam Le Fondre converted from the spot.

Youngster Adam Segecic set up Anthony Caceres  for the second, with the midfielder finishing high into the roof of the net to give Sydney FC a 2-1 half-time lead.

And Segecic played a key role in the third, whipping in a delightful ball from the by-line for Burgess to finish at the back post in the 50th minute.

It didn’t take long for the Mariners to respond however, as Michael Ruhs slotted home after a superb Redmayne save only managed to divert the ball to his feet.

Mariners push for an equaliser suffered a set back in the 66th minute when Mariners defender Daniel Hall was sent off for a second yellow card offence.

But the Sky Blues were undone at the death when sub Jason Cummings scored a glancing header from a 95th minute corner – sending the game into extra time.

The two tired teams continued to slug it out with Sydney pressing hard for the winner that didn’t come and brought the drama of a penalty shootout.

It began with Redmayne guessing right and denying Cummings before Le Fondre also had his spot kick saved.

Jacob Farrell then blasted over the bar for Central Coast as Rhyan Grant finished coolly into the bottom left of the goal. Advantage Sydney FC.

Maximilien Balard scored past Redmayne, before debutant Jaiden Kucharski coolly slotted his penalty into the high left corner of the net to keep Steve Corica’s side ahead on the count.

Substitute Storm Roux then stepped up for the visitors – skying his kick over the bar and gifting Connor O’Toole a chance to win the match. An opportunity he calmly converted to book Sydney FC’s spot in the next round.

Head Coach Steve Corica said: “It was an entertaining game, very exciting, obviously going the whole 120 minutes and then to penalties.

“We probably shouldn’t have gone to penalties but we got through to the next round and we’re happy with that.”

Story by Jeremy Walker