Adelaide United continue to be FFA Cup specialists after their 2-1 semi-final victory over the Mariners. But if you didn’t know there was a game on, I wouldn’t blame you, as our beautiful games’ biggest marketing tool- #sokkahtwitter- was down pre-game and for much of the first half.
Adelaide’s starting line-up saw a vast reshuffle with many outs; Maria remains elusive with an abductor injury, Boland has injured the hamstring, and Izzo was pulling the old Australian pastime of chucking a sickie prior to a long weekend. The colossal number of outs meant starting debuts for Opseth, D’Arrigo, and keeper Richards, selected in favour of Marguš. Questions remained, would Richards continue #magicoftheglove in Adelaide’s post-match team photo? (spoiler alert: yes, yes he would).
CCM also had some major outs, as only one sauce bottle made up the back line. BBQ sauce was presumably flogged by Lawrie McKinna like a college mascot theft prank after he unveiled a jets TIFO in the upper tier pre-game.
The opening 45 saw a high tempo game between the two sides, although chances were few and far between. The Mariners’ biggest chance came in the 21st as Oar’s shot was palmed away by Richards, only to be swept up by Silvera, with his point-blank shot headed onto the crossbar and out of play by Elsey.
Adelaide also had the chance to open the scoring in the 28th as Opseth sent a low cross into Blackwood, who probably should’ve taken the chance himself, instead passing off to McGree who sent his shot into the arms of Birighitti.
In the 41st CCM turned the upper hand into upper cuts. We saw a mega hitti from Birighitti who appeared to intentionally swing his elbow in the direction of Blackwood’s throat. In the absence of VAR and apparently any referee witnessing the incident, Birighitti went unpunished and like my tweets, he wasn’t sent.
Adelaide came out firing in the second half but still couldn’t convert early. Opseth hit the post in the 50th following a youthful charge from D’Arrigo and Toure. Murray immediately attempted to make the Reds pay on the counter, finding himself 1:1 with Richards, only to be denied by the keeper’s outstretched foot.
The ice was finally broken in the 62nd as Clisby found the back of the net following a curling free kick. The positive Feng Shui of the lone sauce bottle seemed undeniable at this point…only to be ruined by a classic Matt Simon second yellow following a foul on Elsey 10 minutes later. The Simon/red card story, more over-played than Old Town Road, proved to be a game changer. Adelaide immediately equalised through Blackwood in the 74th following a Mileusnic cutback.
Wanting to return to our shithole ASAP, McGree made sure it was done in regulation time with a classic 90th minute winner following an Opseth assist to send Adelaide into their third straight final.
So just like a national A-League marketing campaign, the Mariners FFA cup campaign has been pulled. Only two teams remain, as Melbourne City play Adelaide for the 2nd time in a 3 day stint to find out who will win The Bachelor of the 2019 FFA Cup Final. I’ll be there at Coopers Stadium, willing the Reds to a third Cup win, because after all, my favourite position is on top.
By Hayley Routley