13-year-old-goalkeeper-makes-australian-football-history

The Australian Cup has been a fairytale for the Oakleigh Cannons who went all the way to the semi-finals, dispatching the likes of Sydney FC on their way.

Unfortunately, that run came to an end at the hands of heavyweights Macarthur FC.

However, the dream was only starting for one young goalkeeper.

The 13-year-old goalkeeper Ymer Abili became the youngest ever footballer to grace the Australian Cup (formerly FFA Cup) since its inception.

It was late into the game when the Cannons’ giant-killing run seemed to be pretty much over. 

They were 5-2 down to Macarthur and their newly appointed manager Dwight Yorke.

For Yorke, it was heading towards another win to maintain his undefeated start as manager at the side, as the team would secure a place in the Australia Cup final.

However, the headlines weren’t to be given to Yorke and his men, but instead to the young goalkeeper who was making on his way onto the field to a thunderous ovation.

Abili explained that the substitution had been planned should the Cannons be on their way out of the tournament. 

Abili told Network 10 after the game: “In the 85th minute… He (Oakleigh coach Chris Taylor) said ‘warm up’. I was buzzing, so happy.

“I had no nerves I was just excited to go on, to make history.”

And history he certainly made.

While he only had a few minutes to get his hands dirty, the lad managed to keep the ball out of the next for a personal clean sheet – the youngest clean sheet holder in the history of Australian football. 

I mean, if you’re crashing out of the cup you may as well make some history along the way.

The Victorian club tweeted: “It was a tough night for our boys after our Grand Final win and we are extremely proud!

“What an incredible night to see our 14-year-old keeper Abili make his debut!! 

“A historical moment for our club and for the Australia Cup!!”

Macarthur will take on Sydney United in the finals of the Australia Cup, who defeated Brisbane Roar 3-2 after extra time.

For the Bulls, they’ll be hoping new signing Daniel Arzani can put on another outstanding display.

The Australian scored two goals against the Cannons and looked like a threat every time he touched the ball.