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Sydney United reach Australia Cup semis

Sydney United 58 have become the first club to reach the last four of the Australia Cup by defeating fellow National Premier Leagues outfit Peninsula Power 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.

Having already eliminated defending A-League Men champions Western United in the Round of 16, the NPL NSW side became the first from outside the A-Leagues to reach the semi-finals of the Cup since the draw was made fully open in 2021.

It’s also the first time the former NSL powerhouse has advanced to this stage of the competition under any format, have previously been unable to progress past the Round of 16 in five attempts.

They will discover their future opponents on Wednesday evening, when the Cup’s three other quarter-finals kick off simultaneously across Australia.

Accompanied by more than 1,000 fans for the trip to AJ Kelly Park in Redcliffe, United took the lead in just the ninth minute of play when Yianni Fragogiannis laced a shot into the net from the edge of the area.

It was a well-taken strike from the defender, and came just moments after he had been fortunate not to concede a penalty after a shot by Power forward Brenton Fox deflected off his arm.

The early buffer allowed interim coach Miro Vlastelica’s side establish a foothold in the first half, growing comfortable in their defensive shape despite the NPL Queensland’s side’s dominance of possession.

This was reinforced by Danijel Nizic, who added to his resume as the Cup’s leading goalkeeper this campaign with a series of smart saves whenever Power found an avenue to goal.

His heroics became increasingly important amidst a Power purple patch at the start of the second half, with Malakai Love-Semira increasingly looming for the hosts and Nizic forced into a series of saves.

Playing with injured attacker Patrick Antelmi, United did not create the same volume of chances as their foes but continued to maintain their defensive discipline.

Finishing with frenzied desperation, Power hurdled themselves forward in the dying stages in an effort to force extra time but United, and Nizic, held firm.

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