Adelaide United goalkeeper, Paul Izzo, admits his side are wary of the quality Bentleigh Greens possess ahead of Friday night’s FFA Cup 2018 Semi-final clash.
The Reds head into the match full of confidence, boasting an impermeable defensive record, yet to concede in this year’s cup, as they look to reach successive finals.
Adelaide recorded a 2-0 win over APIA Leichhardt in the Quarter Finals last week, while Bentleigh eliminated fellow Victorian rivals Heidelberg United 1-0, courtesy of a late winner.
Izzo revealed the team is eager to return to the title decider and add some more silverware to the trophy cabinet.
“Obviously we want to go back-to-back and make the final and we’re desperate to get more silverware for the Club,” Izzo told reporters at Adelaide Airport.
“Especially for the fans, we know how much they’re dying to see us lift a trophy and it’s a huge game and a massive opportunity for us to do that.”
But in order to reach the final, United will have to overcome the most successful National Premier League team in the competition’s history.
The Greens, coached by John Anastasiadis, are into their second semi-final appearance, and also knocked out Wellington Phoenix in the last 32 back in August.
“We know they’ve beaten A-League opposition this year and they’re going to be very confident,” he explained.
“And they won’t be seeing themselves as massive underdogs, they’ve done it before and we’re going to their ground and it’s on their terms so it’s going to be a great game.”
Izzo stated scoring an early goal against the Melbourne-based outfit will be crucial, but was more than confident his side will be up for the battle.
The 23-year-old gloveman said the longer the result stays scoreless, the more Bentleigh will grow in confidence.
“We know they’re solid, they’re a well-structured team,” he said.
“We’re aware of how dangerous they can be especially at home, we’re obviously going to try and play football and try and play our game.
“But on their pitch it’s not going to be easy so it’s probably going to turn into a fight.
“But I think we’ve shown plenty of times this year if you’re going to fight with us, we’re pretty good to fight back.”
FFA Cup Record
|Bentleigh Greens||Adelaide United|
|2015||Did not qualify||Quarter finals|
|2016||Quarter finals||Round of 32|
|2017||Round of 16||Runners-up|
Adelaide United face Bentleigh Greens in the Semi-finals of the FFA Cup 2018 on Friday, 5 October at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex. Kick-off is at 7.00 PM ACST. Watch live and exclusive on Fox Sports or the My Football Live App.