Western United fell to Sydney United of the National Premier Leagues of NSW in the round of 16 of the Australia Cup, losing 4-3 on penalties.
Western United, the defending A-League Men winners, were eliminated early from the Australia Cup after falling to Sydney United 58 4-3 on penalties.
Western United, who were heavy favorites to win Sunday’s match in the national knockout competition’s round of 16, was shocked in the penalty shootout after the scores were tied at 1-1 after 120 minutes.
At the Sydney United Sports Centre, Connor Pain capitalized on a cross from Western United to score the opening goal of the game just before halftime.
Tariq Maia, though, scored Sydney United’s equalizer on the hour mark with a long-range drive that caught Western United goalkeeper Jamie Young off guard.
Western United had a chance to win the game within of 90 minutes, but Sydney United goalkeeper Danijel Nizic denied them multiple times.
It was a taste of what was to come from Nizic, who calmly placed Sydney United’s winning goal in the top right corner after comfortably saving Western United’s sixth penalty by diving low to his left to save Steven Lustica.
Sydney United is the 10th member federation team to defeat an A-League club in the history of the Cup. Sydney United placed eighth in the National Premier Leagues NSW tournament this season.
After four prior Rounds of 16 appearances, they have advanced for the first time to the quarterfinal round.
Peninsula Power, the NPL Queensland champions from last season, advanced as well after defeating Green Gully of Melbourne 2-1.