A monster all A-League clash between the current FFA Cup champions Adelaide United and A-League runners up Sydney FC headlines an exciting round of 16 draw.
The current holders host a Sky Blues side eager to avenge not only last season’s FFA Cup quarter-final defeat, but also to continue their quest for silver wear.
Graham Arnold’s men will have their work cut out for them following Adelaide’s thumping 6-1 win in the round of 32.
That being said, with all due respect to Darwin Olympic SC, Sydney FC post a far different challenge. Sydney is coming off a 2-0 victory over Sorento FC.
In the other all A-League clashes, Melbourne City will host the Wellington Phoenix.
Both sides are chasing their first piece of silver-wear, and both will be looking to improve on their close victories in the round of 32.
Aaron Mooy, fresh from his newly signed marquee contract, will again be the key for the home side, after scoring two incredible free kicks in their victory over Edgeworth FC.
Wellington, who benefited from a horrible piece of goal keeping, will need to find a more conventional way to goal if they are to worry the revitalised City.
Meanwhile we are guaranteed at least three non A-League sides in the quarter finals thanks to the structure of the draw.
In these games, Metrostars will host Okleigh Cannons FC, Hume City FC are at home to former NSL power house Sydney Olympic, whilst Heidelberg United play Sydney United.
The two NSWPL sides, United and Olympic, will be heavily favoured to feature in a final eight that might also contain two Sydney A-League clubs.
In fixtures that show the true romance of the FFA Cup set up, Lions FC will host former A-League grand finalists Perth Glory, Palm Beach Sharks play current ACL champions Western Sydney, while A-League champions Melbourne Victory will travel to play the Rockdale City Suns.
The Suns, who beat Perth SC 3-1 in their round of 32 fixture, will be pinching themselves at drawing the Victory.
It almost guarantees a huge turnout at their home ground, and will provide invaluable experience for their players.
They certainly face an uphill battle, but in terms of nothing to lose fixtures, the Suns certainly have plenty to gain.
Not that either Lions FC or Palm Beach have missed out on a big match either.
The Glory will have more than a few fans in Brisbane, whilst Palm Beach Sharks can expect a large contingent of Wanderers fans on the holiday strip.
For those unfamiliar with the the draw, we are guaranteed at least three non A-League sides, two A-League sides and a mixture from three other games, progressing into the final eight.
Although there have been calls on social media to totally randomise the draw, the current structure ensures we are not left with the possibility of a plethora of all A-League clashes.
To be totally honest, the most entertaining games have come when the non A-League sides have clashed at suburban grounds.
The football is certainly not at a level that would consistently worry most professional clubs, but it doesn’t mean it’s any less exciting to watch.
The main interest comes when the semi-pro sides play the professional sides, and the draw is worked to ensure that occurs from the round of 32 all the way through to the semi-finals.
It may be slightly manufactured, but it truly is the romance, and magic, of the cup.