Wolves put champagne on ice to focus on APIA Leichhardt

South Coast Wolves coach Nahuel Arrarte. Picture: ROBERT PEET
South Coast Wolves coach Nahuel Arrarte. Picture: ROBERT PEET


It takes its place among the club's most important achievements, but South Coast coach Nahuel Arrarte has kept the lid firmly on any celebrations after the Wolves qualified for the inaugural FFA Cup.

Moments after a gripping 5-2 extra-time Waratah Cup win over Parramatta on Wednesday night, Arrarte immediately ordered his players to avoid the distractions of a potential date with an A-League powerhouse later this year.

Instead, he demanded the focus must switch to the Wolves' upcoming showdown with APIA Leichhardt on Saturday, as both clubs fight to move away from the foot of the NSW National Premier League ladder.

"We're still in a position [in the league] where we are going to have to fight for every result," Arrarte said.

"[FFA Cup qualification is] fantastic for the club and the region, it's a fantastic achievement.

"But we've got a lot of work to do between now and then to get out of the situation we're currently in.

"So the mentality has to be focusing on our next game and that's APIA on Saturday night."

Making it through to the Waratah Cup semi-finals also guaranteed South Coast entry into the final 32 of the newly created FFA Cup competition.

With the draw to be held on June 26, the Wolves could find themselves taking on an A-League club, a taste of the glory days when Wollongong played in the National Soccer League.

It's a huge boost to the club and the long-term A-League vision of Football South Coast, after Wolves barely managed to avoid relegation from the NSW top flight last year and parted ways with coach Richard Lloyd mid-season.

South Coast led 2-1 on Wednesday night before Parramatta equalised in the 90th minute to send the clash to extra time.

However, the Wolves were not to be denied, with Jordan Murray scoring his second in the 102nd minute, before star striker Ricky Zucco sealed it with a late double.

Zucco's second goal was a stunning bicycle kick as party time kicked in.

"After 90 minutes it felt like a loss," Arrarte said.

"We put ourselves in a position to win in normal time and then a late lapse meant we made life really hard for ourselves.

"But to our credit we ran the game out and got the result."

The win also puts them just two games away from securing silverware in the Waratah Cup, with Sydney Olympic and Manly United moving through and Blacktown City taking on Hakoah Sydney City on Thursday night.

"We're definitely going to give it our best shot and it would be great to make the final," Arrarte said.

"But the most important thing we can do right now is focus on making sure we continue to pick up points in the league."


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