As Adelaide United host Melbourne City in the FFA Cup Final 2019 on Wednesday night and a chance to go back-to-back, we take a look at how both sides reached the title decider.
It will be Adelaide’s third consecutive appearance in the FFA Cup Final and after becoming the first side to win the trophy twice following last year’s 2-1 victory over Sydney FC, they will be determined to also be the inaugural team to defend their crown.
Round of 32 – 5-2 win at Melbourne Knights
The Reds opened their defence with a solid victory over Victorian outfit Melbourne Knights, but it certainly was a closer game than perhaps what the scoreline suggested. Al Hassan Toure, on debut, netted early into proceedings. Ben Halloran doubled the lead before the hosts reduced the deficit. However, three goals in the space of 15 minutes in the second-half saw Adelaide show their quality, thanks to goals from Nathan Konstandopoulos, Riley McGree and another to Halloran.
Round of 16 – 3-2 win at Olympic FC
It was a far from smooth sailing game for Adelaide in the last 16 against Queenslanders, Olympic FC with United twice pegged back. Toure opened the scoring with a clinical finish before Olympic equalised three minutes later. The 19-year-old prodigy slotted a second to make it three goals in two matches until the hosts were awarded a spot-kick. With time running out, the Reds re-took the lead from a penalty of their own which was converted by George Blackwood.
Quarter finals – 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets
Adelaide had to wait until the last eight to play their first competitive home game of the new 2019/20 season. The Reds welcomed Newcastle Jets to Coopers Stadium and were aided by the dismissal of goalkeeper, Lewis Italiano 11 minutes in. Toure was again the difference maker as he followed up Glen Moss’ error from Ryan Kitto’s shot approaching half-time.
Semi-finals – 2-1 win at Central Coast Mariners
Having reached the last four for a record fourth time, Adelaide travelled to Gosford with one objective in mind. However, it did not go according to plan when the Mariners struck first through Jack Clisby. But moments later Matt Simon was given his marching orders for a second yellow card and from there Adelaide had all the momentum. Blackwood emphatically equalised after an incredible surging run from Nikola Mileusnić, before McGree sealed the triumph with a 90th minute strike.
Round of 32 – 3-1 win at Campbelltown City
Melbourne began their cup campaign in the City of Churches and recorded a 3-1 victory thanks to a Jamie Maclaren brace and Craig Noone strike.
Round of 16 – 2-1 win at Marconi Stallions
It was the same pair of goal-scorers in the following round when they played Sydney side Marconi. Maclaren opened the scoring before Noone struck just before half-time. The Stallions bagged a goal with five minutes remaining however City held on to advance to the Quarter Finals.
Quarter finals – 3-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers
City’s most impressive performance occurred in the last eight as they dispatched fellow Hyundai A-League team Western Sydney in rather comprehensive fashion. This time it was Noone who netted a double either side of Maclaren’s finish.
Semi-finals – 5-1 win at Brisbane Strikers
Erick Mombaerts’ team were just one win away from qualifying for a second FFA Cup Final. Standing in their way was Brisbane Strikers, who had earlier knocked out Wellington Phoenix in the Round of 32 on penalties. City faced an early scare when Andy Pengelly broke the deadlock inside three minutes. The visitors responded through Connor Metcalfe on the half hour mark. The floodgates opened after the re-start however, with Maclaren ending with a brace while Javier Cabrera and Scott Galloway also found the net.
Adelaide United host Melbourne City in the FFA Cup Final 2019 on Wednesday 23 October at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Gates open at 5.30pm.