CLOSE CALL: Coomera Colts had their FFA Cup dreams dashed, but it was not from a lack of effort.
CLOSE CALL: Coomera Colts had their FFA Cup dreams dashed, but it was not from a lack of effort. Aidan Cureton

OUR SAY: MCU at their best when they are expected to lose

Opinion: There is a reason why football is labelled "the beautiful sport".

It's not the near-surgically precise acts of agility, acrobatics and accuracy and it's not because of the pretty boys in knee-highs.

Football offers a chance for glory to any team brave enough to be hungry for it.

In a game where the difference between win or loss can teeter on the bounce of the ball or one misplaced kick, even those outclassed on paper have a shot at glory if they want it more.

On Wednesday night we saw evidence of that in the purest form.

In just five days, Magpies Crusaders went from a captivating victory over NPL heavyweights Olympic FC, to running the risk of being defeated by a team ranked a league below them.

Magpies Crusaders donned the unusual mantle of match favourites when they did battle with Gold Coast Premier League team Coomera Colts.

The mantle obviously itched because what we saw Wednesday night was uncomfortable and maybe worried Magpies Crusaders.

When the Colts were let out of the gate, they were frightening. In front of a crowd of 800 at Sologinkin Oval, they proved they had not travelled north for the experience of losing to a semi-professional club.

From working harder to recover from loss of possession, to a fair share of won contests and some deadly attempts at goal, the Colts could arguably be branded the better side that night; at least the side with more drive.

Ferdinand Annor was a menace who gave his marked player, Lathan Dunn, no quarter on the wing.

Combine that with Payden Pemberton's pressure on the centre of defence and the MCU back line was commonly seen sprawling for clearance of the ball.

If not for whatever magic Mitch Wright conjures to keep the ball away from his goal, Coomera could have tipped the scales at any point.

The match proved Magpies Crusaders are at their best when they throw caution to the wind.

The potential threat of an A-League team becoming their Round of 16 rivals has my fingers and toes crossed for the football magic to kick-in.

MCU skipper Michael Lyall saw the threat the Colts brought and said his men had that potential.

"It's a 90-minute game of football at the end of the day so if they can do that to us, we can hopefully do to it to a bigger team in the next round," he said.

Is it a long shot for an NPL team to eliminate an A-League side? Yes, extremely, but long shots like that have happened six times before in the history of the FFA Cup.

That is six times cities have roared on the sidelines or behind their tellies to celebrate the best underdog stories the country has to offer; and being underdogs is what Magpies Crusaders do best.



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