Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Tony Popovic has paid credit to Blacktown City after seeing his side progress to the semi-finals of the Westfield FFA Cup on penalties.
The Hyundai A-League side were pushed all the way by their hosts at a sold-out Lily's Football Stadium, even falling behind in extra-time.
But a second goal for Oriol Riera – his fourth in three Westfield FFA Cup games – and greater composure from 12 yards got the Wanderers home.
“You've got to give credit to Blacktown – they were excellent,” Popovic told Fox Sports after the dramatic tie.
“But tonight we saw what the Cup is all about.
“There were numerous opportunities to put that game away and we didn't.
“In the end we had to find some character and a lot of heart to come back from 2-1 down with tired legs and cramping players.
“The spirit was fantastic to come through in the end,” he said.
Western Sydney will face Adelaide United in the semi-finals, with the only remaining state league side South Melbourne to host Sydney FC in the other semi.
“At this stage it doesn't really matter who you get,” said Popovic.
“I'm pleased we're at home.
“We're looking forward to a semi-final – we haven't been there yet – and we're one step away from a final.”
This article was originally published at: www.theffacup.com.au/article/western-sydney-wanderers-boss-tony-popovics-praise-for-excellent-blacktown-city/1u73aak0py2hf11ufv62kvs8hs