There was a flare, a penalty, a send-off, five goals and broken hearts as Canberra’s FC FFA Cup dreams were crushed by Broadmeadow Magic FC on a cold Wednesday night at Deakin Stadium (26 July).
It was Canberra FC’s first match in the national stage of the competition and despite a promising start, the Deakin side was overrun by the strong Newcastle-based side with a comprehensive 4-1 win.
Canberra’s star midfielder Thomas James opened the scoring in the 12th minute after beating the offside trap and driving into the box to sidefoot his shot into the side-netting.
But from that moment onwards, Broadmeadow dominated the contest, with Magic’s star strikers John Majurovski and Kale Bradbery leaving their mark on the match. Majurovski and Bradbery played a part in both goals before halftime, setting each other up for cool finishes to take the visiting side into the sheds with a 2-1 lead.
The second half got off to the worst possible start for Canberra, who conceded a goal in the opening minutes when Majurovski tapped the ball into an empty net after a fine save from Jordan Thurtell.
The men in red struggled to win the battle in the middle of the park with James playing a starring role in an otherwise missing midfield.
Macor threw on extra strikers to help claw back the lead, but to no avail, with his men unable to get the rub of the green from referee Kate Jacewicz, with some contentious decisions going against the home side.
The game was all but killed off in the 77th minute when Canberra’s Daniel Subasic was sent-off for his second bookable offence after a late studs-up challenge. A minute later, substitute Dino Fajkovic slid the ball under Thurtell to send the Magic into the FFA Cup round of 16 for the first time in their history.
But the night hadn’t seen the last of the action, with a flare being let off behind Magic’s goal and a comical passage of play from skipper Ian Graham summing up Canberra’s night. Graham’s penalty in the 88th minute was saved by keeper Paul Bitz before the midfielder smashed the rebound into the crossbar and blocked the follow-up shot from his teammate, with the ball going out for a corner.
Canberra FC now turns their attention to winning the league with three matches left before finals football kicks off, with the top of the table side facing last year’s champions Belconnen United on Sunday afternoon.
Broadmeadow Magic FC 4 – Bradbery (21), Majurovski (41) (27), Fajkovic (77) defeated Canberra FC 1 – James (12)