Struggling Launceston City extraordinarily revived its flagging season courtesy of an extra-time winner to move into the Lakoseljac Cup quarter-finals.
City also collected the side’s first 2017 win in the process after finally getting past University 3-2 in Hobart.
But bizarrely Northern Rangers conceded a goal at home in a shock loss to current midcard Southern Championship side Nelson.
The eastern shore-based Hobart club had only last season finished wooden spooners following just one win and a -57 goal difference.
Rangers proved to be one of only two NPL Tasmania outfits not to advance out of the initial knockout stages ahead of qualifying for the FFA Cup.
City almost joined their crosstown rivals, down 2-1 heading towards injury time.
But coach Ben Brookfield’s inspired substitutions to bring on young legs changed the course of the away tie.
Into the 91th minute, Mackenzie Hancox scored a last-gasp equaliser to keep the visitors alive.
Noah Mies also joined his championship regular in stepping up to find the matchwinner in the first half of added time.
“We had a lot of the ball, but we probably didn’t put away a lot of our chances early,” Brookfield said.
“It got to the point where we were one goal down, but luckily we showed a lot of character.”
City’s “superior fitness” stood tall over the 120 minutes that starved University of any late chances.
Brookfield was hopeful the victory could revitalise its NPL campaign that has included five straight losses.
“We are actually a good team and can push anyone,” he said.
“Combine that with a win today, I think we’ve hopefully turned the corner a bit now.”
But Launceston United involuntarily exposed the gulf between the Northern Championship battler and that of Tasmania’s oldest existing club South Hobart.
The merciless visitors piled on 12 goals – including 11 inside the first 70 minutes – amid keeping a clean sheet at Birch Avenue.
South’s Ben Hamlett scored a ludicrous 10 goals in his side’s 12-0 win, coming off injury to show no lingering effects.
Lakoseljac Cup – Round of 16 results:
- Beachside 1 (Fagg) Hobart Zebras 3 (Hey, Sanders, Groenewold)
- Launceston United 0 South Hobart 12 (Hamlett 10, Kemp, Leaman)
- Northern Rangers 0 Nelson 1 (Jackson)
- Hobart United 0 Devonport 6 (Mann 3)
- Clarence 3 Somerset 0
- University 2 Launceston City 3 (Campbell, Hancox, Mies)
- Glenorchy Knights 1 (Sherman) Kingborough 0
- Ulverstone 0 Olympia 7 (Cartwright 4)