There are few certainties in Australian football, but Tim Cahill stepping up on the sport’s biggest stages is definitely one of them.
Time after time the Socceroos legend has risen to the occasion when needed and he proved himself yet again in the FFA Cup final for Melbourne City.
You don’t need to be a genius to realise by now that if you give him a sniff, more often than not he is going to make you pay.
Time after time the Socceroos legend has risen to the occasion when needed and he proved himself yet again in the FFA Cup finalBrendon Santalab
On Wednesday night he did just that.
With a clutch second half header, Cahill helped City to a memorable 1-0 win over Sydney FC at AAMI Park.
It was unfortunate however to see him subbed off a short time after the goal following what could only be described as an ugly tackle from behind by Josh Brillante.
How Brillante stayed out of the referee’s notebook is a bit of a mystery.
His challenge was dangerous, nowhere near the ball and could have caused a serious injury had it been a harder tackle.
Fortunately for City, Cahill was able to walk from the pitch with what didn’t look to be too bad of an injury and they were still able to hold on for the win in his absence.
On the balance of the game, I have no doubt the victory was a well-deserved one too.
It turned was a memorable night for City, who were finally able to secure their very first piece of silverware in Australian football.
For me, the timing of the achievement comes as no real surprise.
In recent seasons, City have made no secret that they want to be a powerhouse in this country.
Adding trophies to their empty cabinet was a natural step in helping them to achieve that.
They’ll be hoping this maiden Cup success can help inspire the club to even greater heights later this season in the A-League as well.
In my opinion, there is no doubt the win it will give them the belief they can achieve a League title-Cup double in 2016-17.
Silverware is what you play the game for after-all and that winning feeling isn’t something players tend to forget in a hurry.
Once you taste it, naturally you want more.
You’d have to think the circumstances of City’s Cup triumph will increase that hunger further for the players and everyone else involved in the club.
Not only was it their first trophy, but they were also able to secure it in front of their home fans.
The crowd of close to 19,000 people on the night was an FFA Cup attendance record and a fair portion of those were wearing City colours.
Like the players, it was an experience everyone in attendance isn’t likely to forget anytime soon either.
All in all, it helped cap off another stellar edition of the FFA Cup in the competition’s third season.
Again this campaign we’ve seen the knockout tournament grow, with teams and crowds both on the increase in numbers from previous seasons.
With another big Cup campaign behind us, we can only hope the competition continues on that same upward spiral in the seasons to come. I for one, am already looking forward to the next one.