Five moments from Sydney FC v Adelaide United in the Westfield FFA Cup Quarterfinals.
1. All Adelaide Early & Cirio’s Breakthrough
The Reds controlled the game for much of the first half, dictating the tempo and carrying out most of the contest’s early attacks. United had already pushed forward for multiple scoring opportunities when Sydney were still finding their feet. The Red’s breakthrough came at the 28 minute mark when Marcelo Carrusca caught the sky blue’s defence napping. The Argentine slotted a beautiful ball through to Sergio Cirio, who controlled the ball nicely before sprinting into the match’s opening goal.
2. Red card game changer & 10 man Sydney
Sydney defender Nikola Petkovic found himself in the dressing room early after being given a straight red card for a tackle on Fabio Ferreira. The challenge didn’t appear to be overly malicious, and the referee’s decision thoroughly displeased Sydney’s head coach Graham Arnold. The booking came at the 87 minute mark, as Sydney were snatching the momentum away from United on the back of an Alex Brosque strike earlier in the half. The booking gave Adelaide a numerical advantage, one they fully capitalised on heading into extra time tied at 1-1.
3. Djite double
Bruce Djite had been dangerously lurking in the box during several attacks throughout the night and was the almost-recipient of several crosses. With one less sky blue jersey to worry about, Djite took just nine minutes of extra time to capitalise, finishing an ominous Carrusca cross to put the Reds ahead 2-1. Just 11 minutes later, Carrusca and Djite joined forced again, albeit somewhat inadvertently. This time a Carrusca strike found its way back to Bruce, before the United striker flicked the ball upwards and launched a powerful volley into the net from close range. Following his opening week wonder strike in Brisbane, Djite has now scored three goals over his last three outings.
4. Adelaide derby still on the cards
United’s FFA Cup progression means a derby match against Adelaide City - which plenty of fans have been eager to see for some time - is still in play. Of course, Adelaide City, who feature Reds youth squad members Anthony Costa and Thomas Love, must first beat Bentleigh Greens in Melbourne on Wednesday next week.
5. Three games in 10 days
With last night’s FFA cup game sandwiched in between fixtures against Melbourne and Perth, Sunday’s home game against the Glory will be United’s third game in ten days. After resting Craig Goodwin and bringing in Young Socceroos returnee Awer Mabil for the Sydney match, Josep Gombau may look to make further changes on the weekend. Cassio’s return appears to be near, while Gombau may opt against playing Fabio Ferreira and Michael Marrone three times in ten days following their pre season injuries.