Cairns FC have made it to the national stage of the FFA Cup after a remarkable comeback victory at Barlow Park on Saturday night.
It was a disastrous first half for the home side who found themselves trailing three nil at the break.
Michael Lyall opened the account, finding the back of the net after ten minutes. Cairns responded well, however were unable to capitalise on created chances before Lewis Farquhar doubled the lead in the 30th minute – converting from the penalty spot.
A sucker punch for the home side came only moments before half time with a goal from Kyle Markham. At three nil, the crowd sat in disbelief as they could feel the national stage slipping away.
However, miracles can happen and a catastrophic 15 minutes of football for the visitors saw Cairns put five away. The home side were clinical in front of goal and the Magpies Crusaders could do very little to hinder what was a scathing display of attacking football.
Harrison Corica and Fox Slotemaker netted one a piece in between a Josh Taylor brace with Chris O’Hare finishing off the onslaught in the 75th minute.
It was truly the magic of the cup as Cairns claimed the victory while the FFA Cup crusader was over for the Mackay based visitors.
PHOTO CREDIT: Alison Langevad, Langevad Sports Photography
The victory marks the fifth straight tournament that will feature a team from the Far North Queensland football zone in the national stages (2014-2017, FNQ Heat FC). However, Cairns has managed to host only one of these fixtures being in 2016 against Northern NSW outfit Edgeworth FC.
Cairns now enter the round of 32 along with fellow NPL sides Lions FC and Olympic FC. Joining them is Gold Coast Premier League side Gold Coast Knights as well as A-league side Brisbane Roar to round out five teams to represent the Queensland federation.
The remainder of the sides to make up the round of 32 incorporate the other eight Australian A-league clubs as well as qualifying clubs from the other state member federations.
It’s an exciting time for football in the Far North, details of the draw are yet to be announced. Stay tuned for updates!
FFA CUP ROUND 7
Saturday 9th June 2018
Barlow Park, Cairns
Cairns FC – 5 (Taylor 59 72, Corica 63, Slotemaker 66, O’Hare 74)
Magpies Crusaders United – 3 (Lyall 10, Farquhar 30, Markham 45)