Perth Glory and Adelaide United will meet in the FFA Cup Final at Coopers Stadium after their respective semi-final wins against Bentleigh Greens and Central Coast Mariners this week, which also marked the end of participation for non-A-League teams in this year’s competition.
Nebojsa Marinkovic proved to be man of the moment for Perth Glory, scoring two of the team’s three goals and launching the attack for their third. A wonderfully struck free kick opened the scoring, while a silky first touch allowed Marinkovic to glide past Jack Webster and into space to net the game’s second goal.
Marinkovic capped off his attacking display in the 84th minute with a pass through the defence to Joshua Risdon, who played it to Chris Harold inside the penalty area. Given plenty of space by the Bentleigh Greens defence and Alastair Bray between the sticks, Harold made no mistake to score the final goal of the game.
After a slow start in which Central Coast Mariners sat deep and absorbed Adelaide United’s possession, Sergio Cirio was able to cap off a wonderfully crafted set play involving Marcelo Carrusca and Pablo Sanchez in the 39th minute. Matters were made even worse for Central Coast after Awer Mabil was able to find space in the penalty box and catch Liam Reddy on his wrong foot.
Central Coast’s Matt Simon was able to make an instant impact off the substitute bench after halftime, finding space between the Adelaide United defence and comfortably netting just minutes after the restart. Unfortunately for him, he sustained a leg injury while chasing a ball with Adelaide United’s Osama Malik that forced him off the pitch just 15 minutes into the half.
The crowd of 4,548 at Coopers Stadium were left to wait until near the end of the game for the next significant action, as Mabil looked for a chance to shoot from outside the penalty area. His shot was parried by Reddy into the path of a poorly-marked Cirio to volley his second goal. Joshua Rose was able to score a consolation goal moments before the final whistle from a Central Coast counterattack, but the game finished 3-2 to the home side after a relatively dominant performance.
Perth Glory and Adelaide United will meet for the FFA Cup final on December 16 at Coopers Stadium in Adelaide.