Magic of the Cup: Rockdale fans made their mark during their side's 3-2 FFA Cup loss to Melbourne Victory.

Magic of the Cup: Rockdale fans made their mark during their side's 3-2 FFA Cup loss to Melbourne Victory. Photo: Getty Images

Melbourne Victory remain on course for a 2015 domestic double after surviving a scare against NSW National Premier League club Rockdale City Suns in the round of 16 of the FFA Cup on Tuesday night. 

The minnows from Sydney's southern suburbs would have felt aggrieved to have come so close to achieving an upset after having outplayed the A-League champions for much of the match before suffering a 3-2 loss at WIN Jubilee Oval.

Not only did they control the tempo and dictate the play, they also peppered Victory's goal in the early stages of the game.

The ever-lively duo Toufic Alameddine and Idriss El Hafiane tested Victory keeper Danny Vukovic while the giant frame of former Gold Coast United striker Dylan Macallister remained a constant target. 


However it was the nimble fullback Hristian Tanoski that should have twice given the hosts the lead, once when a solo effort was superbly denied by Vukovic and also when his glancing header shaved the wrong side of the upright. 

An upset wasn't just on the cards, but seemed inevitable as a sluggish Victory provided little response to the sixth-placed side of the NSW NPL1 season. However almost unjustly to the boisterous crowd, class prevailed as Melbourne took an unlikely lead. 

Victory's Jesse Makarounas made Rockdale rue those missed chances with a composed finish on the stroke of half-time that would have softened the tone of coach Kevin Muscat's team talk. 

There may have been a sense of cruelty dealt by Victory's first goal but there was nothing but awe about their second. Fahid Ben Khalfallah split Rockdale's defence with a clever lob into into the box and a perfectly-timed run by Besart Berisha turned that pass into the net via his forehead. 

But just as the door appeared to be shut on a Rockdale upset, the Suns were gifted a chance to claw back from the spot after a referee Katie Patterson awarded a penalty for a hand ball in the box. 

Amid the silence of anticipation and haze from a flare, Marko Jesic calmly slotted to keep Rockdale's hope of a quarter-final berth alive.

Even after Makarounas had appeared to kill-off any real chances of a fight back with a stunning long range goal that boosted his chances for a first-team place in the A-League season, the hosts refused to surrender. A late own goal by Vcitory's Leigh Broxham ensured the 4165 fans didn't head for the exits before full-time. 

Three consecutive corners in the dying minutes of the match had the crowd on their feet and despite a late penalty claim being correctly waved away, Victory held on for a nervy win.