The semi-finals of the Team App Cup have been drawn, with the four remaining NPLW clubs in the competition having their fixtures decided. Both matches are to be played at neutral venues, the winners then progressing to the final.
Box Hill United vs Bulleen Lions
Box Hill United defeated state league sides Knox City and Mooroolbark in rounds 2 and 3 before knocking out last year’s NPLW grand finalists Galaxy United 1-0. The inaugural champions of the cup in 2012 are on their best run since 2013, where they also made the semi-finals before a defeat to South Melbourne, before being knocked out before the quarters each year until 2016.
Bulleen Lions are yet to face a top-flight opponent having seen off Ballarat, Eltham and Keilor Park in the earlier rounds. The Lions are without doubt one of the most successful cup sides in the league, having won it in 2014, and have never been eliminated before the semi-finals in their four attempts, also finishing runner up the last two years.
Southern United vs Calder United
Having defeated the Brunswick Zebras in Round 2, Southern United have made their way to the semi-final by knocking out two high-profile opponents in Alamein – last year’s semi-finalists – and South Melbourne; the latter achieved via a famous come-from-behind extra-time win at Lakeside. Southern are enjoying their best league and cup run to date, occupying a top four spot in the NPLW and have vastly improved on their Round 3 defeat to Bayside last year in the cup.
Calder United’s run has seen them knock out two NPLW clubs in the process, Bayside 3-1 in Round 2 and, most impressively, Heidelberg United 7-0 in the quarters. In between was also a convincing 6-0 victory over 2015 champions and 2016 semi-finalists Boroondara United. The reigning NPLW champions and current ladder leaders are looking to cap off their rampant success in Victorian women’s football since their inception with a cup triumph, having been eliminated by Alamein in Round 3 last year.
The final will see at least one former cup champion face off against a first-time finalist. The winner of Box Hill against Bulleen will then be the ‘home’ side of the final, which, while playing at a neutral venue, will have home strip privileges.