Adelaide United have continued their strong form, taking it over to the FFA Cup as they managed a 3-1 win over Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Tuesday night. It took a little longer than they would have liked, needing extra time but Adelaide United become just the second side in history to make an FFA Cup semi-final, joining Central Coast.
Adelaide United’s chances were boosted toward the end of regular time as they were given a man advantage as Nikola Petkovic was shown a straight red card. That advantage didn’t pay off until midway through the first half of extra-time but from there it was all Adelaide.
It was the visitors who started the match well using a high tempo match to make life difficult for Sydney FC. That tempo was really catching Sydney FC out who were too often resorted to fouling their opponent to stop the running.
But after the big and frantic start, the sides really slowed up, seemingly realizing that they have big A-League matches this weekend, or suffering from the quick turn around. But Adelaide United got back on top and in the 27th minute they hit the lead when Sergio Cirio beat the offside trap and PedjBojic before Ivan Necevski tried to slide in to get the ball but had it bounce over him to give Adelaide United the lead.
The thought would be that conceding would energize Sydney FC but it just couldn’t, after a tough derby on the weekend, they seemed to be just surrendering the match to Adelaide United. Despite that, Adelaide United did not respond at all with their inability to create chances not quite haunting them yet.
Sydney FC made a change at the break, which saw Alex Brosque come on to the field and just five minutes in to the half it proved to be a masterful substitution. Nick Carle was able to square the ball in for Brosque who made his impact felt, sending the ball over Eugene Galekovic.
The second half seemed to be a complete reversal of the first as Sydney FC became the much stronger side, making life difficult for Adelaide United. The Reds were forced to make changes and just past the hour mark they made two straight changes bringing on Osama Malik and Fabio Ferreira to try and use fresh legs.
But despite the changes Sydney FC kept Adelaide United from getting control of the match back as they were able to keep reasonable charge of the match. That was until the 87th minute when disaster struck, as Petkovic was shown a controversial red card after he fouled Fabio Ferreira.
Adelaide United came out in to extra-time determined to hit the lead and they got their reward in the 98th minute as Marcelo Carrusca crossed in for Bruce Djite who ran on to it and slammed it home. The match really heated up from there as both sides really started to go brutally at each other, stopping the scoring at that point for the first half.
The second half continued to see Adelaide on top, easily controlled the match for the final 15 minutes. They doubled their lead with nine minutes to play as Carrusca’s effort fell to Djite who beat his man and lifted the ball over Necevski to seal the win.
Sydney FC just didn’t look bothered in the final nine minutes of the match as they just looked exhausted from a big midweek game. That allowed Adelaide United to cruise in to the FFA Cup semi-finals thanks to Bruce Djite’s work in extra-time.