In what feels like forever, we finally return home to Cooper’s stadium for the quarter finals of the FFA Cup and we know Adelaide United love the FFA Cup, almost as much as a squirrel loves nuts, as reigning champions this tournament holds a special little place in our hearts.
It’s Verbeek’s first home game as coach and Jakobsen’s debut as captain, and with the signings of McGree, Opseth, Toure and Maria in the off season we wait to see who will debut out on the pitch tonight, and pray for another McGree scorpion kick goal. Up in the Red Army people have also worked hard on recruitment in the off season and the Burundian drummers are in the house to make some noise.
In true FFA Cup fashion it’s not long before we see some action when Jets keeper Italiano has an absolute brain fade and trips Mileusnic just outside the box, Italiano is immediately given a red. On comes Moss, dressed in green, someone didn’t think that through, the banter is real. New signing Fitzgerald has to be subbed for his keepers errors, I hope they keep those two and their handbags at ten paces. Konstandopoulos steps up to take the free kick and Moss is immediately launched into play, making a diving save.
Adelaide look quick up front with Toure, and I think he will be a headache for opponents defensive lines. With the jets down to ten men and the pace and attacking style we had started with, it gave me hope of a blowout scoreline, with snippets of great attacking pieces, dangerous looking deliveries, rattling posts, but no conversions, but with six shots on target, there is certainly place for hope. Finally forty two minutes in we convert, with Kitto’s strike finding its way through Moss’ hands and legs allowing Toure to tap it in. We go into half time a goal up and a player up.
The second half seemed to freeze like the four thousand eight hundred and seven people in the crowd, maybe the teams were not adapted to playing in nearly single digit temperatures. At the seventy seventh minute mark we saw Toure make way for Opseth’s debut, but all energy seems to be out of the game by now. However, the last ten minutes sees the Jets dig a bit deeper but all they can manage is a few attempts with about as much substance as the hamburgers we ate on our way to the game, not really testing Izzo.
The final whistle blows and United are off to their third consecutive semi-final, and we are all off to crank the heaters in our cars!
By Michelle Reid