Bosnich backing second-tier Aussie football league
FORMER Socceroo Mark Bosnich says Blacktown City's stunning FFA Cup performance against the Wanderers showcased the need for a national second division.
The NSW NPL side lost to Western Sydney in heartbreaking fashion, with the Wanderers prevailing in a penalty shootout 4-2.
But Bosnich said the effort of a team that was out of season and full of semi-professional footballers demonstrated the talent present within the next level of football.
"Noone, I don't think in their right mind at half-time would have predicted, even dreamt this,” Bosnich said on Fox Sports ahead of the penalty shootout.
"But you have to say 'amazing' to Blacktown ... end of their season, part-time footballers.
"That's why it gets me upset when people turn around and say 'no, we haven't got enough talent to have a second division.
"Of course we have. Can you imagine if these boys were full time? Absolutely amazing.”
Despite Oriol Riera scoring from a penalty in just the third minute, the Wanderers were unable to put the game to bed in the first half.
Rejuvenated after half-time, Blacktown City seized control in the second half and earned a deserved equaliser through pacy sub James Andrew in the 68th minute - forcing the game to extra time at 1-1.
Andrew struck again in the 104th minute to give Blacktown the lead - and a hope of a huge upset - only for Riera to take the game to penalties seven minutes later.
Ultimately, the Wanderers won out 4-2, with Blacktown's first two penalties unsuccessful.
The loss brought to an end a phenomenal campaign from Blacktown City, which included beating Central Coast in the Round of 32.
Blacktown coach Mark Crittenden said he took great pride in his team's campaign, even though they fell short of a history-making victory.
"I'm just proud - you can't ask for more than what we dished out tonight,” he said.
"We strive to be the best we can and the opportunity to play against a club like Western Sydney is just phenomenal and it's great for the boys.
"We're just proud of the fact ... we beat the Mariners and we beat Wellington in a trial the other week and we got a 2-2 draw with Western Sydney.
"So from the point of view of our lads it's a tremendous effort and we were really proud.”