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Adelaide clinch inaugural FFA Cup title

FFACup_MatchupAdelaide United are the toast of Australian football tonight after beating Perth 1-0 at Coopers Stadium to claim the inaugural FFA Cup.

A sell-out crowd of over 16,000 witnessed Sergio Cirio deliver the only goal of the game deep in the second half, which was enough for the home fans to see their side lift the Cup for the first time – their first piece of silverware since 2006.

Cirio was also awarded the Mark Viduka Medal for the best on-field in the FFA Cup Final.

Adelaide’s home record of only one loss in their past 18 matches at Coopers Stadium, plus inflicting Perth’s only loss of the A-League season, had them installed as the pre-game favourites.

The Reds had faced a much tougher run to the FFA Cup Final than their opponents, facing four A-League sides in the lead up to the final compared to Perth’s two.

The Glory was forced to start without key playmaker Mitch Nichols, who was ruled out with a hamstring injury. Carrusca and Boogaard both started for Adelaide after overcoming slight niggles that saw them miss last weekend’s A-League match.

The opening minutes saw a scrappy, frenetic affair, with both sides struggling to contain their nerves in the early exchanges. When the game finally settled, it was Adelaide who got on top of their opponents, dominating possession and creating the best of the chances in the first half.

Awer Mabil had a plethora of chances in the first half, but was unable to convert for the Reds. Just five minutes in, Mabil found himself one-on-one with Glory keeper Danny Vukovic after receiving a sublime cross, but failed to make contact with the ball.

Not long after, Mabil missed another great chance, which sailed over the crossbar after he was played through from a glorious ball by Bruce Djite.

Despite Adelaide’s dominance, though, the two sides went into the break locked at 0-0.

The second half saw the tempo and the pace of the game increase dramatically as Adelaide, in particular, pushed hard for the opening goal.

Jimmy Jeggo was outstanding for the winners providing great link-up play through midfield, as well as taking several shots on goal.

Despite having another few chances, Awer Mabil had a night to forget, missing another great opportunity early in the second half. Cirio played a lovely ball through to the youngster who again shot high and wide. Fabio Ferreira replaced the struggling speedster early into the second half.

Perth’s struggles became even worse in the 59th minute when defender Josh Risdon was sent off after tugging back Marcelo Carrusca, and receiving a second yellow card.

After the dismissal, Adelaide launched attack after attack; relentlessly peppering the Perth penalty area.

Their dominance was finally rewarded in the 67th minute as Carrusca and Cirio combined for yet another stunning goal. Carrusca played a through ball to Cirio, who dribbled past Vukovic before finishing on a tight angle to give the Reds the lead with his 6th goal of the FFA Cup campaign.

Isaias then came close to doubling the lead from long range in the 83rd minute, in what would have been his first goal for the club.

He wouldn’t convert, but it didn’t matter as Adelaide held their nerve to close out the game and hold onto the 1-0 lead — sending the 16,000-strong crowd into raptures.

About the author

avatarBen is a Journalism graduate, a Melbourne Victory fan and contributor to Ultimate A-League.

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