Football: Gungahlin United into FFA Cup after beating Belconnen United 1-0 in extra-time

Football: Gungahlin United into FFA Cup after beating Belconnen United 1-0 in extra-time

A 10-man Gungahlin United has defied the odds to reach the FFA Cup in the club's inaugural season.

Gungahlin United players celebrate their FFA Cup qualifying final win.

Gungahlin United players celebrate their FFA Cup qualifying final win.Credit:Jeffrey Chan

Belconnen United had a chance at the death to send the game to a penalty shoot-out, but David Kemp's shot hit both goal posts and stayed out.

Gungahlin will now be the ACT's representative in the FFA Cup round of 32 and have a chance of facing an A-League side in the nationwide knockout tournament.


It's an amazing achievement for a club in its first season in the National Premier League and which had sponsors walk away before a ball was kicked.

Gungahlin United captain Dustin Wells said his side showed grit to respond after Regan Walsh was sent off in the 74th minute.

"We were a little bit lucky today to be brutally honest, but the boys showed heart and we pinched it with a goal near the end," Wells said.

"When you get a man sent off it's a bit of panic stations, but we battened down the hatches and kept it tight at the back and were able to catch one at the set piece.

"This was one of our goals because as a new club we didn't think we would have the consistency to challenge for the title in the league.

"This is unreal."

Walsh was given his marching orders for throwing a punch in response to an incident where Belconnen's Jason Ugrinic appeared to be lucky to get away without punishment.

Belconnen captain Taylor Beaton said his side paid the price for not making the most of its chances.

"We haven't been taking them and we've been having to create too many," Beaton said.

"Fair play to Gungahlin, they were good and kept going the whole game.

"We'll turn our focus to the league."

Chances were few and far between in the first half.

Both sides were careful not to give the other too much space in attack given the significance of the occasion.

Belconnen United was dealt a blow when defender Cameron Reinhart had to be replaced after just 25 minutes with a leg injury, with 17-year-old Ben Van Meurs coming on in his place.

Neither side could find the net in the opening 45 minutes.

With 10 minutes on the clock, Goran Mukevski had a golden chance to break the deadlock and put Belconnen United through to the FFA Cup, but pushed his shot wide.

Gungahlin had to clear the ball off their own line in successive corners at the end of regulation to take the game into extra time.

In Saturday's only Capital Football National Premier League game, the FFA Centre of Excellence defeated Tuggeranong United 5-3 at the AIS grass fields.

Meanwhile, Cooma Tigers FC host the Monaro Panthers at Nijong Oval on Sunday.



GUNGAHLIN UNITED 1 (Daniel Barac) bt BELCONNEN UNITED 0 at McKellar Park on Saturday night.

Lee Gaskin is a sports reporter at The Canberra Times.

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