A near-capacity crowd of 16,142 at Coopers Stadium saw Adelaide United lift the inaugural FFA Cup with a 1-0 victory over A-League table-toppers Perth Glory.
Flying youngster Awer Mabil almost gave Adelaide United an ideal start within the first five minutes of the game, narrowly missing his chance when Sergio Cirio squared the ball across the defence.
Sold out within days of the initial ticket release, the atmosphere was more akin to a home game for the Reds, rather than the intended neutral ground, with just a small section of the crowd wearing Perth Glory’s purple and white.
The stalemate first half ended as it started, with Mabil missing another chance to put his side ahead, this time with a one-on-one chance against Daniel Vukovic that he ultimately put wide of the post.
A more open and physical start to the second half resulted in Perth defender Joshua Risdon earning a second yellow card and his marching orders for bringing Marcelo Carrusca down inside the defensive half in the 58th minute.
Adelaide took control of the extra man advantage as Perth began to play with more men behind the ball, but a loss of organisation at the back proved costly, with Cirio finding space to receive the ball and enough time to round Vukovic and find the back of the net in the 67th minute.
Isaias came close to doubling Adelaide’s lead in the 84th minute, with Vukovic needing to tip the Spaniard’s long-range drink over the bar. Adelaide continued to pile the pressure on Perth’s defence, but the most geographically isolated club in the A-League remained resolute in keeping the low scoreline.
Having promised the fans silverware in his second season with the club, Adelaide coach Josep Gombau has delivered 17 months into his tenure. The former Barcelona youth coach had previously been criticised for his firm stance on implementing a “Barcelona style” philosophy to the club, but Adelaide have since become one of the form teams of the A-League. Perth Glory, however, remain without any additions to their trophy cabinet since the A-League’s inception.
Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop has expressed his desire to provide future FFA Cup winners with an AFC Champions League qualification place, with the intention for the 2015 FFA Cup winners to qualify for the 2016 edition of the continental competition.