The excitement of the FFA Cup was upon us on Tuesday evening as Avondale FC took on FC Bulleen Lions at the Veneto Club for a chance to progress into Round 6, taking on North Sunshine Eagles at Knights Stadium.
Coming off a four-day break in a league draw against Pascoe Vale FC, it was a mid-week cup fixture taking on FC Bulleen Lions who sit bottom of the NPL Victoria table. Playing away at FC Bulleen Lions home in the Veneto Club, the staff and players understood the physical preparation and recovery that would be needed with playing on an artificial surface.
Two changes were made to the squad with Stefan Zinni missing the match due to the red card against Pascoe Vale FC and young defender James Alvarez also missing. Into the squad came young attacker Christian Inglese and another young attacker Chris Dossis who come into his first official first team squad with the hope of debuting. With Zinni going out of the starting XI, Joey Katebian came into his position with his first start after a hamstring injury. Yitay Towns also came into the starting XI in defence with Phil Riccobene being rested as a substitute for the mid-week fixture.
From the first whistle, it was clear to see that FC Bulleen Lions were going to have a long night. Without having an ability to hold possession for any period of time, it made it easy for the hungry Avondale FC side, as time and time again the ball was easily won back by the visiting side.
After the 15-minute mark, the FC Bulleen Lions defence was put under an extraordinary amount of pressure by wingers Elvis Kamsoba and Joey Katebian. Kamsoba had the opposing right back in all sorts whilst Katebian was able to both dictate play and run with the ball in open space.
The crowd could see it coming with Kamsoba and Katebian, as Katebian was able to break through the opposition midfield played a delightful ball out wide where Kamsoba and his pace made no mistake getting into the box and finishing under the FC Bulleen Lions keeper to give Avondale FC a 1:0 lead.
5 minutes out before halftime and it was the man of the moment Kamsoba again, with a darting run through for of the FC Bulleen Lions defenders and a curling finish from outside the box, left no keeper in the world able to save and took the scoreline out to 2:0. The finish from Kamsoba being class but the celebration after was even classier.
The first half got even better when an expertly placed ball from Katebian into the box for his overlapping fullback Yitay Towns led to a ferocious finish and a score line of 3:0 at the halftime break.
It was much of the same in the second half and with Kamsoba on a hattrick it was only 7 minutes into the second half where he was able to achieve it with an expertly chipped ball over the keeper and it was made sure to hit the back of the net by a desperate defending FC Bulleen Lions player, and with it came a 4:0 lead.
It was more positives for Avondale FC as it wasn’t long after Kamsoba’s goal that Chris Dossis entered the game and made his first-team debut for the club. A club putting a big emphasis on their youth development and being rewarded at first-team level. Christian Inglese also entered the game showing even more faith by the coaching staff for Avondale FC youngsters.
It was a man of the match performance from Kamsoba and in the 70th minute he was able to put a ball in for in-form striker Kaine Sheppard that sent the scoreline to 5:0 and a comprehensive victory for Avondale FC.
The club now faces North Sunshine Eagles in Round 6 of the FFA Cup with details being confirmed within the week.