Adelaide, Western Sydney Wanderers join APIA and Heidelberg in FFA Cup quarterfinals
Adelaide United and the Western Sydney Wanderers have snuffed out stern challenges from state-league opponents to scrape into to the FFA Cup quarterfinals.
The Reds exorcised their demons at the venue where they were famously knocked out of the tournament two years ago by Redlands United, beating newly-crowned Queensland NPL premiers Lions FC 1-0 on Wednesday night.
And new recruit Alexander Baumjohann starred on debut as the Wanderers prevailed 2-1 against newly-relegated NSW NPL outfit Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
For a few moments at least, it looked like the sheer sight of Brisbane's Perry Park was enough to put one Adelaide player off his game.
Goalkeeper Paul Izzo spent several minutes on his haunches receiving medical attention midway through the first half after reportedly complaining that the floodlights were making him dizzy.
As soon as Izzo was back on his feet, the Reds took the lead through Craig Goodwin, who scored at the back post after a horror botched clearance from Josh Brindell-South.
But Lions had dominated proceedings before the goal and continued to for the remainder of the game.
Jean Carlos Solorzano, the ex-Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory striker, came agonisingly close to equalising with a header in the 58th minute which thumped into the upright.
The Costa Rican had another gilt-edged chance in the 81st minute but hit the side netting.
Adelaide players were jeered as they whittled down the clock in the dying stages but managed to hang onto victory.
A bumper crowd of more than 5000 at Marconi Stadium watched Bonnyrigg give Western Sydney yet another cup scare.
Former Bayern Munich attacker Baumjohann put them 1-0 up after 12 minutes and looked lively in his first outing for the A-League club, setting up several other chances which went begging.
The White Eagles made them pay just after the hour mark, with Tynan Diaz bending in a free kick from the edge of the box - but nine minutes later, Western Sydney's lead was restored through a Brendan Hamill header.
At an arctic AAMI Park, Bruno Fornaroli proved the difference in a rematch of last year's semifinal between Melbourne City and Newcastle Jets.
The Uruguayan curled home in the 54th minute after good combination work from Lachlan Wales and ex-Jet Riley McGree -- the only goal as City prevailed 1-0.
Meanwhile, Victorian NPL powerhouse Heidelberg United routed Adelaide Comets 4-0 to confirm a spot in the quarterfinals for the third time.
FFA CUP QUARTERFINALS
Avondale FC vs. Sydney FC
APIA Leichhardt vs. Adelaide United
Melbourne City vs. Western Sydney
Bentleigh Greens vs. Heidelberg United