A-League Men champs Western United bundled out of Australia Cup by Sydney United

Second-tier Sydney United 58 has upset A-League Men champions Western United in the Australia Cup.

Second-tier Sydney United 58 has upset A-League Men champions Western United in the Australia Cup. Photo: AAP

Reigning A-League Men champions Western United has suffered a shock early exit from the Australia Cup, losing 4-3 on penalties to Sydney United 58.

Prohibitive favourites to win Sunday’s round of 16 clash of the national knockout competition, Western United was stunned in the penalty shootout after the scores were locked 1-1 after 120 minutes.

A Western United counter attack produced the first goal of the tie at Sydney United Sports Centre when Connor Pain latched onto a cross on the stroke of halftime.

But Sydney United found the equaliser on 55 minutes after Tariq Maia rifled a long-range shot that wrong-footed Western United goalkeeper Jamie Young.

Western United had its chance to seal the match inside 90 minutes but on more than one occasion they were denied by Sydney United goalkeeper Danijel Nizic.

It was an entree of what was to come from Nizic, who saved Western United’s fifth penalty – diving low to his left to deny Steven Lustica – before Cristian Gonzalez calmly slotted the winner in the top right corner for Sydney United.

Sydney United, which finished eighth in the National Premier Leagues NSW competition this season, is the 10th member federation team to knock out an A-League club in the cup’s history.

It is through to the quarter-final stage for the first time after four previous round of 16 appearances.

Last season’s NPL Queensland premiers Peninsula Power also advanced, beating Melbourne-based Green Gully 2-1.

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