Former Red winds back the clock with incredible bicycle kick in Australia Cup thrashing

The Round of 32 of the Australia Cup got underway overnight, with four sides stamping their places in the next round.

Former Adelaide United midfielder Fabian Barbiero stole the show on the opening matchday of the 2023 Australia Cup national stages, with an incredible bicycle kick in MetroStars’ 5-0 victory over Inglewood United.

With the NPL South Australia outfit already leading by two goals thanks to an early brace from James Temelkovski, Barbiero helped himself to one of the goals of the tournament in the second-half.

The 39-year-old produced the spectacular after getting on the end of a well-weighted cross into the box by Jackson Walls to fire home his side’s third.

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“Fabian Barbiero, you show off! What a goal!… Even Travis Dodd (who was the co-commentator) will be impressed with that,” Commentator Dom Rinaldo said.

The league leaders in NPL SA put on the afterburners from there, blowing the NPL Western Australia side out of the water with goals from Scott Nagel and Michael Cittadini to book their place in the Round of 16.

Barbiero made over 100 appearances for Adelaide United between 2007-13, before eventually moving to the local leagues – where he’s played for both Croydon Kings and MetroStars.

“The squad is amazing, it allows me to play a bit more free,” he said after the game.

“I don’t know now many more years I’ve got left, but you play every game like it’s your last and it’s what I’m doing at the moment.”

Wellington survive enormous scare

The Giancarlo Italiano era at Wellington Phoenix has got off to a winning start, scraping past NPL Queensland side Peninsula Power in a dramatic 2-1 victory.

Wellington took the lead thanks to Nicholas Pennington late in the first-half, but were pegged back by Lukas Greenwood who sent the game to extra time at AJ Kelly Park and had Power dreaming of a potential upset.

However, the ‘Nix would find a winner with time expiring in extra time as Joshua Rudland bundled home the go-ahead goal in the 118th minute via a cross from fellow academy player Kaelin Nguyen.


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It was in fact the duo’s first-team debuts, having come off the bench for both Oskar Zawada and Oskar Van Hattum late in the game as the ‘Nix searched for a winner.

“I’m delighted for them, I’m delighted for the academy, I’m delighted for the club and I’m delighted that we’ve got young players getting an opportunity,” Italiano said.

“They both struggled at the start to really get into the game, but as the game eventuated they got a little bit more confident and in the end Kaelin made the run that won us the game.

“That was the sort of thing I was looking for from my senior players and I am very happy that the younger players could provide that.”

Italiano handed first-team debuts to new signing Mohamed Al-Taay and Lukas Kelly-Heald, while Alex Paulsen started in goals ahead of Jack Duncan. Fellow academy players Ben Wallace and Fergus Gillion were also on the bench, but only the former saw minutes.

Sam Sutton and Scott Wootton both ramped up their return from respective injuries, coming on the 58th minute for both Al-Taay and Kelly-Heald.

2022 finalists advance to Round of 16

2022 runners-up Sydney United 58 are through to the Round of 16, after coming away with a 4-2 victory over Northern New South Wales NPL side Broadmeadow Magic.

Both sides traded blows in a see-sawing first-half, but second-half goals to Devante Clut and Alessandro Lacalandra was enough to ensure the NPL NSW side would advance to the Round of 16.

Patrick Antelmi gave Sydney United the lead early from the spot but his opener was cancelled out by Jayden Stewardson. Adrian Vlastelica restored the visitors’ lead and Magic’s job looked all the more difficult when Riley Smith was sent off late in the first-half.

Smith caught the Sydney defender with a stray elbow and was given his marching orders by referee Alireza Feghani.

However, Magic did respond on the brink of half-time through Bailey Wells, who ensured the scores were level at the break.

Sydney once again restored their lead through former Brisbane Roar midfielder Clut, before Lacalandra wrapped up the win with a strike in second-half stoppage time.

Mt Druitt book their place in next stage with emphatic 3-1 victory

A late brace from Anthony Frangie has helped NPL New South Wales side Mt Druitt Town Rangers secure their place in the Round of 16, with a 3-1 win over Canberra Croatia.

With the scores level heading into the latter stages of the contest, Frangie scored a quick-fire brace to help the Rangers over the line.

Solomon Monohan-Vaiika gave Rangers the lead in the first-half with a stunning half-volley, before Stephen Dominici pulled one back for the side from the capital with a brilliant long-range strike after half-time.

But it wouldn’t be Canberra’s day, as Rangers kicked clear in the final moments through Frangie, nodding the go-ahead goal in the 76th minute before scoring the sealer in style with a well-hit half volley of his own.