Sydney FC coach Steve Corica has shown his relief and delight at the club's passage through a tight FFA Cup squeeze.
The Sky Blues led 2-0 but were forced into extra-time by ambitious Victorian National Premier League grand finalists Avondale FC on Wednesday night.
ABD Stadium was rocking as the part-timers threatened to become the first grassroots team to beat Sydney FC in the Cup, raining shots on Andrew Redmayne's goal.
Sydney had lost its way after two quick-fire efforts to Liam Boland, whose 2016 goal had previously knocked out Central Coast Mariners.
Corica said the whistle to bring extra-time was blessed relief.
"That was important. It come at a good time," he told AAP.
"Once it went to extra time our fitness took over."
The final 30 minutes was a stretch too far for Avondale, which had performed a footballing miracle on Friday by overturning a 3-1 extra-time deficit to win 4-3 in 120 gruelling minutes.
A second two-hour slog was simply too much.
Le Fondre hailed the state league side, echoing his coach at the importance of reaching extra time.
"They showed great spirit to come back and put us right under the cosh," he said.
"At 2-2 they were the team in the ascendancy and going towards the last part of the game.
"But at full-time we regrouped and got back playing."
Le Fondre was sharp and showed fine touch on his first competitive start down under.
The 31-year-old English marquee said he didn't expect to be out there for the whole slog.
"I'm not going to lie, I thought I was coming off for the last substitute," he laughed.
"I was getting cramp everywhere but you have to do a job for the team ... it will put me in good stead."
Western Sydney also progressed to the last four of the 2018 competition on Wednesday night, defeating Melbourne City 2-1 at AAMI Park.
Australian Associated Press