As Adelaide United meet Sydney FC in the Westfield FFA Cup 2017 Grand Final at Allianz Stadium on Tuesday, here is a quick recap of how both teams reached the decider.
It has been a rather straight forward passage to the Reds’ second cup final appearance for Marco Kurz’s men. They have conceded just one goal – a contentious penalty in the semi-final – in this season’s tournament.
Round of 32 – 1-0 over Newcastle Jets
It was a tightly contested match at the Marden Sports Complex which Adelaide prevailed thanks to a Michael Marrone header off a Johan Absalonsen corner.
Round of 16 – 3-0 over Melbourne Victory
After a relatively cagey first-half of football, United’s intensity lifted following the re-start. Absalonsen rifled a shot from distance, arrowing into the far post, before George Blackwood doubled the hosts’ lead from the spot. Nathan Konstandopoulos completed the rampant second-half display courtesy of a stunning curling effort.
Quarter finals – 3-0 at Heidelberg United
Nikola Mileusnic wrote his name all over this fixture at Olympic Park in Melbourne. The winger became the first Red to bag a hat-trick in the Westfield FFA Cup and his goals punched Adelaide’s ticket to the Semi-finals.
Semi-finals – 2-1 at Western Sydney Wanderers
Johan Absalonsen wriggled past Jonathan Aspro to slide his close-range finish beyond Vedran Janjetovic in the 13th minute. Adelaide recaptured the ascendency after the restart and Daniel Adlung duly made it 2-0, rifling a swerving drive from distance. The Wanderers were then awarded a penalty and Brendon Santalab halved the deficit with 20 minutes remaining. However, Adelaide held on to book a place in the final.
The Sky Blues also reached the final in convincing fashion, but did only face one Hyundai A-League side in their journey to the final. Nevertheless, Graham Arnold’s side scored 18 goals while conceding just the one in the process.
Round of 32 – 8-0 at Darwin Rovers
Brazilian forward Bobô bagged four, while David Carney, Jordy Buijs, Miloš Ninković and Matt Simon all netted a goal each as the visitors romped to an eight goal rout.
Round of 16 – 3-0 at Bankstown Berries
Bankstown provided Sydney with little resistance after Carney opened the scoring inside five minutes. Bobô added a second after the break before Adrian Mierzejewski put the icing on the cake – converting a stoppage time penalty.
Quarter finals – 2-0 over Melbourne City
Sydney also passed their toughest test in the competition to date, defeating City 2-0. Jordy Buijs gave Arnold’s men an early lead with a brilliant free-kick and Alex Brosque sealed the victory in the second stanza.
Semi-finals – 5-1 at South Melbourne
Carney again scored early, while Bobô grabbed his sixth and seventh goals either side of a Leigh Minopoulos strike. In what remained a close game in wet and windy conditions, Sydney managed to keep the hosts at bay and scored two more goals through Sebastian Ryall and Simon.
Adelaide United will face Sydney FC in the Grand Final of the 2017 Westfield FFA Cup on Tuesday, 21 November at Allianz Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT.