Adelaide United has defeated Central Coast Mariners 3-2 in the semi-final of the Westfield FFA Cup to ensure the inaugural final of the competition to be played at Coopers Stadium.
Both teams started quietly, but United eased into their passing game soon after kick-off and started to control the tempo of the affair.
It took 15 minutes for the Reds to have their first proper sight of goal, coming through Pablo Sanchez, however his effort was hit just over the bar. Then, in the 24th minute Pablo Sanchez had another great opportunity to put United in front, yet Liam Reddy stood up to the challenge and saved well.
With the Mariners seemingly stunned, United continued to pile the pressure onto the Central Coast defence – Cirio testing Reddy twice in both the 27th and 30th minutes.
And in the 40th minute, United’s quality shone through when they took the lead through an incredibly well-worked free kick. The dead-ball was taken short by Marcelo Carrusca, who played the ball into the feet of Pablo Sanchez, who threaded it through for Sergio Cirio whose finish was as clinical as the intricate passing before it.
Five minutes later, Awer Mabil put the Reds up by two just before the break, when he powerfully finished through Reddy at the near post from an acute angle on the right flank.
Following the break, a rejuvenated Mariners side took the field and half-time substitute, Matt Simon, scored in the 48th minute when he finished low across Eugene Galekovic’s goal.
For the majority of the second half, both sides had their chances and worked hard to take control of the match, but the ball seemed stuck in midfield.
United were able to seal the win in the 88th minute when a shot by Mabil was saved by Reddy, which fell into the path of Cirio who slotted home from close range. The Mariners did score a second very late into the match, but it wasn’t enough as the Reds secured their place in the final of the inaugural FFA Cup.
Following the match, United coach, Josep Gombau, said the result was very satisfying and an important milestone in the club’s history.
“Winning was important and we are satisfied – for the club, the players, and the fans” Gombau said.
“The first half was difficult, they played with five at the back and were difficult to open, but we had four chances before we scored. After the two goals, I think we did very well and then in the second half, early I don’t think we played well.
“Playing at home (in the final) is an advantage, but it’s a game of 90 minutes, eleven against eleven and we’ll need to work hard to win the match. We have a lot of games (in between) and we have to take it week by week.
“I think it’s going to be a cup that we want to win and to bring to our fans because not every day and not every year do you play in the final of the competition.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
Westfield FFA Cup Semifinal
Adelaide United 3 (Cirio 40’, 88’, Mabil 44’)
Central Coast Mariners 2 (Simon 48’, Rose 93’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium, Hindmarsh
Adelaide United: Galekovic, Marrone, Boogard, Malik, Elrich, Isaias, Jeggo (McGowan 62’), Carrusca (Konstandopoulos 89’), Mabil, Sanchez (Ferreira 62’), Cirio
Central Coast Mariners: Reddy, Morton, Anderson, J. Rose, Sim, Montgomery, Hutchinson, Duke, Vernes, Kim (Caceres 46’), Mane (Simon 46’), (Cernak 60’)
Scorers: Cirio 40’, Mabil 44’, Simon 48’, Cirio 88’, Rose 93’
Red cards: N/A
Yellow cards: Cernak 73’, Montgomery 82’, Anderson 90’
Adelaide Untied will play Perth Glory in the final of the Westfield FFA Cup at Coopers Stadium on Tuesday, 16 December. Kick off 7:00pm ACDT.
Tuesday 18 November – 9am-11.59pm Adelaide United and Perth Glory members pre sale period
Tuesday 18 November – 1pm-11.59pm Football Family pre sale period
Wednesday 19 November – 10am General Public on sale