A stunning second-half display has guided Adelaide United to a comprehensive 3-0 win over fierce rivals Melbourne Victory in the Round of 16 of the Westfield 2017 FFA Cup on Wednesday night.
Maiden goals from Johan Absalonsen, George Blackwood and Nathan Konstandopoulos at Marden Sports Complex settled the affair after the interval to seal Adelaide’s progression to the quarter finals.
Marco Kurz made just the one alteration to the starting XI which prevailed over Newcastle Jets in the last 32 – handing Vince Lia his Reds debut to replace Jordan O’Doherty in midfield. New signing Ersan Gülüm featured on the bench while Baba Diawara also had a place amongst the substitutes.
Nikola Mileusnic came the closest to opening the scoring after seeing a header smack the crossbar on the stroke of half-time.
It was a relatively even match during the first-half and the beginning of the second stanza, until Absalonsen broke deadlock in emphatic fashion.
Blackwood made it 2-0 as he converted a spot-kick and with the Reds in complete control, Konstandopoulos put the icing on the cake with a sensational curling effort to overcome the Victory.
7’ | After a neat attacking move Besart Berisha tees up Milligan and the midfielder’s first-time effort outside the box curls inches wide of the top left corner.
16’ | A small melee breaks out following a strong but clean tackle by Taylor Regan on Mitch Austin to disrupt the Victory’s counter-attack. It was handbags more than anything, however it demonstrated the intensity of what the ‘Original Rivalry’ is all about.
21’ | Adelaide embark on an attack and after Ben Garuccio’s low cross is cut out the Victory duly break – culminating in Paul Izzo denying Kosta Barbarouses on the angle.
45’+2’ | Adelaide have the best chance of the first-half when Mileusnic’s header strikes the crossbar following a beautiful cross by Absalonsen.
53’ | Absalonsen unleashes a thumping drive on his left foot from outside the 18-yard box and past the outstretched fingertips of Lawrence Thomas to make it 1-0.
66’ | Absalonsen wins a penalty after his shot is handled in the box. Blackwood steps up and converts the ensuing spot-kick to double the Reds’ advantage – sending the goalkeeper the other way.
88’ | With Adelaide dominating possession, Konstandopoulos puts the result beyond doubt with a sumptuous curling strike from distance and into the top right corner.
90’ | Mark Ochieng marauds forward and finds Jordan O’Doherty, whose shot is blocked by the Victory defence.
Wednesday, 22 August 2017
Westfield FFA Cup 2017 Round of 16
Adelaide United 3 (Absalonsen 53’ Blackwood 66’ Konstandopoulos 89’)
Melbourne Victory 0
Venue: Marden Sports Complex