Reds roll into FFA Cup 2018 Final
Adelaide United has advanced to a second consecutive FFA Cup Final, following a 2-0 win over Bentleigh Greens at the Kingston Heath Soccer Complex on Friday night.
A maiden goal for Ben Halloran gave the Reds a first-half lead before Jordan Elsey made sure of the victory just after the interval to complete a rather comfortable outing.
There was just the one change made to the starting eleven which defeated APIA Leichhardt in the Quarter Finals by, Head Coach, Marco Kurz. George Blackwood made his first appearance of the season, replacing Craig Goodwin who was out with a virus, while youngster Carlo Armiento featured on the bench for the first time.
Perhaps the nerves of knowing either team was just a game away from reaching the FFA Cup 2018 Final contributed to a frenetic start.
Both sides began proceedings at a frantic pace and struggled to gain any control.
But once the nerves settled, Adelaide gained control for the majority of the first-half, dominating possession and creating chances.
Paul Izzo gifted the hosts a chance early on when his half-clearance culminated in Matthew Thurtell missing a glorious opportunity to put his side in front.
Ken Ilsø then released Halloran and his effort on a difficult angle was saved by Ryan Scott.
Minutes later, United was indebted to Izzo when he made a crucial, parrying Chris Lucas’ low strike after being expertly played through on goal.
However, Adelaide slowly grabbed a foot hold on the clash and opened the scoring through Halloran on 21 minutes.
Blackwood danced his way past his marker on the left before squaring to the 26-year-old, who calmly finished.
The Reds made a fast start to the second-half, immediately from the re-start.
And their endeavour was rewarded when Elsey doubled Adelaide’s advantage after following-up Isaías’ parried free-kick with an angled finish.
Adelaide appeared threatening in advanced areas, nevertheless found themselves being forced to defend with numbers.
However, they were rarely troubled as United are yet to concede in this year’s competition, keeping their fourth straight clean sheet.
Adelaide awaits the winner of Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers with the draw to determine the venue of the final straight after that game, shown live and exclusive on Fox Sports, Channel 503.
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3’ | A bobbled clearance by Izzo falls to Elsey, who also fails to clear his lines before Thurtell pulls the shot wide.
9’ | Izzo atones for an earlier mistake with a fabulous save from close-range to deny Lucas.
21’ | GOAL! Halloran meets Blackwood’s cross and clinically finishes to net his debut Reds goal.
32’ | Ryan Strain cuts the ball back for Halloran and his curling shot is wonderfully repelled by gloveman Ryan Scott.
49’ | GOAL! Isaías’ free-kick is parried but only as far as Elsey who is there to convert the rebound for his second of the tournament.
Friday, 5 October 2018
FFA Cup 2018 Semi-finals
Bentleigh Greens 0
Adelaide United 2 (Halloran 21’ Elsey 49’)
Venue: Kingston Heath Soccer Complex