APIA Leichhardt Tiger’s incredible FFA Cup win against Melbourne victory has bouyed the Lambert Park based side and steeled them for a final push for the National Premier Leagues NSW Championship, according to veteran defender David D’Apuzzo.
APIA was the talk of Australian football circles earlier this week after their incredible victory against the reigning A-League title holders with the win boosting their confidence levels sky-high.
It was the perfect result for the Tigers after last week’s loss to Sydney United 58 where they were pipped by a ten-man Reds outfit after a penalty shootout.
Now they must get back down to business on Saturday night as they battle to keep their Championship hopes alive with a win at home against Rockdale City Suns.
“The FFA Cup win was an incredible moment for everyone in this team and the club,” he said.
“It has been a real booster for the team and just what we needed after two tough defeats.
“It goes to show that these players will step up for the big occasion and won’t give up when the going gets tough.
D’Apuzzo said he believes the FFA Cup win was proof of APIA’s fighting spirit which he claimed could be the difference in this weekend’s do-or-die finals clash.
“I’ve been involved in football a very long time and this group of guys are like none other I have played with,” he said.
“We have had our fair share of challenges throughout the season and everyone has dug in to help the team win.
“That sort of mentality is what has helped us get to this point and I’m confident no matter what Rockdale throw at us we will be able to hold strong.
Despite Rockdale’s rocky road to the finals, D’Apuzzo doesn’t believe their opponents are underdogs.
“Rockdale are a very good team with dangerous players all across the park,” he said.
“They showed last week in their win against Blacktown what they are capable of.
“It’s been a tough week for us in terms of playing three big games in only eight days but I think as long as we remain focused we are in with a really good chance of getting the win.”