Oakleigh Cannons have upset Sydney FC in the Australia Cup Quarter-Finals as the Melbourne outfit hold on late under the floodlights at Jack Edwards Reserve.
The hosts began the match on the front-foot, taking an early 1-0 lead through Wade Dekker just six minutes in as he finished neatly at the back post.
Midway through the first-half, Oakleigh added a second in the 31st minute, as Chris Lucas met Anthony Pantazopoulos’ fizzing low cross to make it 2-0.
Adrian Segecic gifted Sydney a lifeline with the clock counting down, finding space between the Oakleigh defenders in the box to head in a hanging cross from Anthony Cáceres—however the Sky Blues could not force home an equaliser as Oakleigh desperately hung on.
As it happened:
Oakleigh started the match in lively fashion, putting the Sky Blues under pressure early on as they opened the scoring within 6 minutes—with Matthew Foschini flashing a low ball across the face of goal for Wade Dekker to tap in at the back post.
Although Sydney controlled most of the possession in the opening stages of the match, Oakleigh remained well-organised and looked to soak up pressure and hit the Sky Blues on the break.
With the Oakleigh defence sitting deep, Adam Le Fondre looked to drop deep and pull away from his markers to receive the ball, creating space in behind for Adrian Segecic and debutant Joe Lolley to cause havoc.
Despite the Sky Blues warming into the game, Oakleigh doubled their advantage as Redmayne’s reflex save from a corner situation landed at the back post where Anthony Pantazopoulos fired the ball back across goal for Chris Lucas to slot home and make it 2-0.
Sydney probed late on in the second half as Lolley persisted down the right-wing, however Oakleigh did well to hold the Sky Blues up and force them wide, taking their 2-0 lead into the half time break.
Rhyan Grant and Diego Caballo began to get forward more frequently down the flanks in the second half, as Cáceres made runs from midfield into the box to create overloads.
Segecic had the ball in the back of the net in the 71st minute, however his diving header was narrowly ruled offside as Sydney dialled-up the pressure late on.
However, on the 74th minute-mark, Segecic this time found himself on the scoresheet as the 18-year-old headed home after Cáceres played a lovely one-two with Grant and flighted a cross to the back post for the youngster to head home and give Sydney a life-line.
The Sky Blues continued to pile on the pressure late on, as Róbert Mak stepped onto the field to spark some more creativity in the Sydney side—seeing a shot blocked from close range as the clock was running out.
Despite committing more numbers forward as Luka Smyth entered the fray in an effort to snatch an equaliser, Oakleigh defended resolutely at the back and held on for the upset to advance to the semi-finals where they will face Macarthur Bulls.
Sydney FC now turn their attention to their Isuzu UTE A-League campaign which begins in October.