FFA Cup wrap: A-League hopefuls leave it late
LEO Athanasakis stood silently, taking in the scenes as he leant out the open window high in the Lakeside Stadium grandstand.
Below the South Melbourne president were so many of the club's supporters standing as one, with jubilant players on the athletics pitch saluting their fans.
Only minutes before most of the fingernails of the 2622 in attendance would have been chewed to the quick, the score locked at 0-0.
But after Milos Lujic headed home the latest of winners from a corner, South - the four-time National Soccer League champion - was bound for the second round of the FFA Cup.
The club said Wednesday night's round of 32 clash with Edgeworth Eagles was a dress rehearsal for its A-League bid.
But in the moment, the win in the Cup was all that mattered.
"That was unbelievable," Athanasakis said.
"Relief, but I'm really happy for the fans who have been itching for success over the last 10-15 years.
"They've been out in the wilderness, but now they feel a part of Australian football.
"Onwards and upwards now, let's hope we get another home draw and it'll be even bigger next time."
The crowd was the second biggest in FFA Cup history for a game not involving an A-League side.
HAKOAH and Hills Brumbies made history as an FFA Cup record nine goals were scored in their epic contest.
The Brumbies, who are sitting third bottom in the NSW NPL 2 competition, took the lead three times against their NPL 1 opponent.
However, Hakoah managed to level the match on each occasion, before scoring three goals in extra-time to run out 6-3 victors and seal their Round of 16 spot.
NSW NPL 2 side Bankstown Berries caused a massive upset over MetroStars to seal their place in the Round of 16.
The Berries took a shock lead within 17 minutes when Jake Bradshaw scored the first goal of the 2017 FFA Cup Round of 32.
Moments into the second half, Bankstown doubled their lead when Perry Moustakas weaved through the MetroStars defence and buried his shot into the bottom corner.
The South Australian side desperately searched for a goal, but it only came in the fourth minute of stoppage-time when Christian Esposito's shot hit the crossbar and ended up in the net.
The Berries hung on for a historic victory to seal their Round of 16 spot.
SEAN Canham's seventh-minute header was the sole strike that separated Sorrento and 2016 semi-finalists Canberra Olympic.
Sorrento thought they had doubled their lead in the second half but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Canham's goal - the 300th scored in the FFA Cup - was enough to seal his side's spot in the Round of 16.