Reds progress to third consecutive Cup Final after overcoming Mariners


Adelaide United 5-Game Flexi Membership

Adelaide United have advanced to a third straight FFA Cup Final after a 2-1 come-from-behind win over 10-man Central Coast Mariners on Wednesday night.

Riley McGree’s 90th minute finish means the holders have the opportunity to defend their title which will take place at Coopers Stadium against Melbourne City following the post-match draw determined the hosting rights.

George Blackwood restored parity after Jack Clisby’s opener, before Matt Simon received a second yellow card for a flailing arm as the Reds took full control with the numerical advantage in Gosford.

Gertjan Verbeek made four changes to the side that beat Newcastle Jets in the Quarter Final. Isaac Richards, Louis D’Arrigo, and Kristian Opseth were all handed their starting debuts with regular gloveman Paul Izzo out with the flu and Mirko Boland absent through a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, George Blackwood returned to the side with the Dutchman implementing a 4-3-3 formation.

It was an entertaining start to the game with both teams throwing caution to the wind early and attacking with numbers.

Adelaide did survive a few nervy moments in the first-half with Samuel Silvera coming the closest to breaking the deadlock when his header was deflected onto the crossbar by Jordan Elsey.

However, aside from that chance, the Mariners did not really trouble debutant Isaac Richards in goal during the first-half.

Central Coast opened the scoring in the second-half via a crossing Clisby free-kick.

However, the Mariners lost control when Simon was brandished a second yellow and minutes later Blackwood equalised with a thumping finish after a scintillating run from substitute Nikola Mileusnić.

And with time ticking away, McGree slotted the winner as a deft touch from Opseth played in the attacking midfielder.

Key moments:

21’ | Silvera’s header from inside the six-yard box is incredibly flicked onto the cross by Elsey to deny the Mariners a certain goal.


29’ | Opseth squares his cross to the top of the box finding Blackwood and his lay-off finds McGree but the 20-year-old’s shot is blocked.

35’ | Opseth lays the ball off to Halloran and his stinging, curling strike is held by Birighitti.

51’ | CHANCE! Opseth at full stretch sees his shot ricochet off the base of the upright following Toure’s low cross.

51’ | Murray is played through one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but Richards produces a huge save to deny the forward.


62’ | GOAL: Clisby’s free-kick evades everyone in the area and flies over Richards.

72’ | RED CARD! Simon is dismissed for a second bookable offence, a trailing arm which catches Elsey.

74’ | GOAL! Mileusnić expertly dribbles past three players before dragging the ball to Blackwood who takes a touch to set himself and fire past Birighitti.


76’ | Halloran squares a pass to McGree but his right-footed finish hits the side netting.

90′ | GOAL! McGree makes it 2-1 with a clinical right-footed finish.



Match details:

Wednesday, 2 October 2019
FFA Cup 2019 Semi-Final
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Clisby 62’)
Adelaide United 2 (Blackwood 74’ McGree 90’)
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Attendance: 5,572

Adelaide United will host Melbourne City in the FFA Cup 2019 Final at Coopers Stadium on Wednesday, 23 October. Kick-off is at 7pm (ACDT). Member Pre-sale Friday, 4 October – 12pm. General public Wednesday, 9 October – 9am.

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