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Calder United advances to NIKE FC Cup semi-finals with five-star performance

Calder United

Photo credit Jack Dilks

Calder United has advanced to the semi-finals of the NIKE FC Cup after a convincing 5-0 victory over Boroondara Eagles in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Calder was ruthless at Keilor Park Recreation Reserve on Thursday night, getting on the front foot immediately to put the pressure on Boroondara and secure a well-deserved victory.

It took a little while for the goals to start flowing despite the dominance, but once the first went in it was an onslaught from the four-times reigning NIKE FC Cup winners.

Harriet Withers got the ball rolling in the 20th minute when she was picked out by a clever reverse ball from Stacey Papadopoulos before rifling in a shot at the near post.

Withers scored again six minutes later when she got on the end of a through ball from Raquel Deralas before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting into an empty net with her left foot.

It was another piece of brilliance from Deralas that unlocked the door again in the 36th minute as she turned on the edge of the area before slipping in Melissa Taranto to bury a strike into the bottom right corner.

Taranto had a couple of goals in as many minutes when she was put on a plate by Ava Groba in the box after the winger had blown by Boroondara’s defence down the right-wing.

After coming off the bench to replace her sister, Adriana Taranto set up the fifth goal in the 53rd minute with an excellent corner delivery allowing Deralas to nod home from point-blank range.

There was a welcome sight for Mark Torcaso’s side soon after that as Aleksandra Sinclair came onto the pitch for her first appearance after sustaining an injury early on in the NPLW season.

Sinclair looked sharp in the final third and will be looking to quickly get up to speed as Calder continues to fight for the NPLW title and the NIKE FC Cup.

Calder has dominated this competition in the past and is out to win it for the fifth time in a row. The likes of Heidelberg United, Bulleen Lions and Alamein FC are all still involved and will provide stern competition for the trophy.

For now, though, attention will turn back to NPLW action as Calder prepares to face FV Emerging at Knox Regional Football Centre on Sunday.