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Bruce strength sees Adelaide past Sydney

FFACup_QF_SYD_v_ADLAdelaide United have become the second team to reach the FFA Cup semi-finals after dispatching a gallant Sydney FC outfit 3-1 after extra time, courtesy of two goals from striker Bruce Djite.

A paltry 3,536 fans showed up to Allianz Stadium and were treated to a game of two very different halves — Adelaide dominating the first, with Sydney pushing them hard in return in the second.

Marcelo Carrusca pulled the strings in a midfield masterclass for the visitors in the opening stanza and, just 28 minutes in, a delightful long ball found Spanish marksman Cirio who tucked it away with aplomb to give Adelaide an early lead.

Sydney FC needed some inspiration after being dominated into the break, and Graham Arnold injected captain Alex Brosque into the fray to give them some much needed firepower.

This would prove to pay dividends as just six minutes after the interval, following some brilliant lead-up play, the ball fell wide in the box to Nick Carle who centred the ball neatly for Brosque to float home an equaliser.

Sydney would pepper the visitors with attack after attack, but failed to show a cutting edge despite some ingenuity from fringe player Chris Naumoff, with the youngster testing Eugene Galekovic on multiple occasions.

Arguably, though, the most contentious moment of the match occurred in the 86th minute, when both Fabio Ferreira and Nikola Petkovic went in for a fifty-fifty aerial contest, with both having a leg outstretched.

Petkovic looked to have pulled out of the contest early, with referee Ben Williams allowing play to continue, but not before returning to give Petkovic a straight red card.

Arnold was understandably furious and could audibly be heard from the touchline deriding Williams stating, “You’re a bloody embarrassment mate” — a sentiment echoed by those on social media watching the game, as well as Fox Sports pundit Mark Bosnich.

The home side went into full time knowing very well that the tide would be against them after the red card, and it was only a matter of time before Bruce Djite gave the visitors the lead in extra time.

After a piercing through ball, Carrusca again veered wide and found his target with a deft cross, with Djite ramming home the finish from point blank range nine minutes into extra-time.

Carrusca would make it a hat-trick of assists just two minutes later, as he once more turned provider for Djite, providing the hitman with a volley on a platter to give them a two goal buffer.

Despite the margin, Sydney FC pressed on, but alas could not get another goal on the board, and bowed out of the FFA Cup in controversial circumstances.

Adelaide United now progress through to the semi finals, with the mouthwatering prospect of a United-City Adelaide derby on the cards if the latter can beat Brisbane Strikers next week, and the two are subsequently drawn to play each other.

About the author

avatarKris is a freelance sports journalist, a two-time WA media guild award winner, and podcast host and writer for Ultimate A-League.

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  • timtamtom

    From one angle Petkovic looked as if he was pulling out of the tackle. From another camera angle you can clearly see that he charged Fabio with open studs. Ben Williams was in the best position to witness the situation. Making contact with open studs is a dadangerous play and can produce a red card. As for the tantrum from Bosnich- I’m not impressed.