Revisit the road to the Final
As Adelaide United prepare to host Sydney FC in the FFA Cup 2018 Final on Tuesday night, we revisit the path both sides took on reaching the decider for a second straight season.
Marco Kurz guided the Club to back-to-back finals, without conceding a goal in those four matches, and will be hoping to avenge last year’s cup final this time around.
Round of 32 – 3-0 win over Central Coast Mariners
Adelaide strolled to a convincing victory to open their campaign at Marden Sports Complex. Jordan Elsey got on the end of Isaías’ inch-perfect set-piece to open the scoring, while new German recruit, Mirko Boland wasted no time in announcing himself to the Reds faithful with an overhead kick. Craig Goodwin, on his return, expertly slotted a free-kick after the break to seal a comfortable passage to the last 16.
Round of 16 – 1-0 win at Lions FC
It was a much different story for the Reds against Queensland National Premier League (NPL) side, Lions FC. Marco Kurz’s men laboured to the hard-fought win, however to United’s credit were solid in defence and were rarely troubled by the hosts at Perry Park. Goodwin pounced on a mistimed clearance to separate the two teams on 31 minutes.
Quarter finals – 2-0 win at APIA Leichhardt
Having caused one of the biggest upsets in the FFA Cup’s history by defeating Melbourne Victory in the previous round, Adelaide knew APIA would be far from a walkover. It was a tightly contested match for more than an hour, but Adelaide’s quality shined through, thanks to a stunning long-range strike from Goodwin. Boland nodded in United’s second goal 10 minutes from time.
Semi-finals – 2-0 win at Bentleigh Greens
After a helter-skelter start to the match, Adelaide settled and began to control proceedings and soon took the lead through Ben Halloran. Adelaide had several chances to put the match to bed later in the first-half. However, their profligacy in front of goal did not prove costly against Bentleigh as Jordan Elsey guaranteed the win just after the re-start to seal the Reds’ progression to the final.
For the Sky Blues it was far from smooth sailing, as they survived a couple of scares on their way to reaching final.
Round of 32 – 4-2 win at Rockdale City Suns
Sydney fell behind early against Paul Reid’s outfit but the visitors replied with four goals of their own courtesy of Daniel Da Silva, Ben Warland and an Alex Brosque brace.
Round of 16 – 2-1 win at Cairns FC
The Blues trailed early against North Queensland club Cairns and needed two second-half goals from Brosque and Trent Buhagiar to overcome the hosts – who also missed a penalty to tie the game with 16 minutes remaining.
Quarter finals – 4-2 win (aet) at Avondale FC
A quick-fire brace from Buhagiar handed the Sky Blues a seemingly unassailable lead. However, by the 61st minute that two-goal buffer was squandered and Steve Corica’s men needed extra-time to overcome the Victorian state side. Milos Ninkovic and Adam Le Fondre were on target to break Avondale’s resolve.
Semi-finals – 3-0 win at Western Sydney Wanderers
Sydney’s most resounding performance was their derby triumph over the Wanderers. After a slow start to the match, the Harbour City outfit were relentless in the second stanza and bagged three goals. Buhagiar grabbed his fourth goal of the tournament while Siem de Jong put the game out of reach with a mesmerising free-kick. Le Fondre then made it three after rifling home from the spot.
Adelaide United host Sydney FC in the FFA Cup 2018 Final on Tuesday, 30 October at Coopers Stadium. Gates open 5:30pm. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports and the My Football Live App.