Mon, Oct 8, 12:29pm by Staff Writer
The 2018 FFA Cup finalists have been decided with A-League clubs Adelaide United and Sydney FC set to meet in the final at the end of the month.
The Reds and Sky Blues each won their semi-finals in regular time, defeating Bentleigh Greens and the Western Sydney Wanderers respectively.
With the A-League season less than a fortnight away, both sides will have plenty to focus on in the coming month.
The Sky Blues will enter the FFA Cup final as favourites, priced at $2.20 for the October 30 match at Coopers Stadium in Adelaide.
The hosts for the fixture, Adelaide United, are $2.88 underdogs, with the draw paying $3.10.
Both sides have won the trophy once, with Adelaide winning the inaugural FFA Cup in 2014, while Sydney FC are last season’s champions.
The Bentleigh Greens have been an FFA Cup fixture in its four-year history, providing many highlights for fans and neutral observers alike.
The Greens had the chance to become the first non-A-League team to feature in the FFA Cup final, but were undone against Adelaide.
A goal in each half from Ben Halloran and Jordan Elsey saw the Reds through against the Victoria NPL side.
Adelaide’s win sets up a rematch of the 2017 FFA Cup final, where Sydney FC prevailed. It will be the third time Adelaide has made the Cup final.
The match had a frenetic pace early on, with both teams exchanged chances at goal.
Halloran’s 20th minute breakthrough gave the visitors the lead, as he pounced on a ball from George Blackwood to finish from close range.
He almost had a second goal before the break, but the keeping from Green’s stopper Ryan Scott was exemplary in denying the former Brisbane Roar man another mark on the score sheet.
Despite being second best for much of the night, the Greens continued to apply themselves in the second half, but they were unable to find a way past Adelaide goal keeper Paul Izzo.
Adelaide’s staunch defence has been their trademark in FFA Cup play this season as they have not conceded a goal in four matches.
After the disappointment of not winning last season’s Premiership, Sydney FC has begun its new campaign in wonderful fashion, progressing through to the club’s second successive FFA Cup final.
In front of more than 14,000 fans at Panthers Stadium in Sydney’s west, the Sky Blues knocked three goals past their bitter rivals to record a 3-0 win on Saturday.
All three goals came in the second half for the visitors, with Trent Buhagiar scoring the first after 49 minutes.
New signing Siem de Jong has been practicing his free kicks at training, with the former Ajax man nailing a dazzling set piece in the 64th minute to give Sydney a 2-0 advantage.
When fellow new signing Adam Le Fondre slotted from the penalty spot in the 75th minute, the result was put beyond doubt.
It was a calamitous defeat for the red and blacks, with coach Markus Babbel describing the loss as a ‘disaster’.
Western Sydney were disappointing in the first half as they failed to finish a number of opportunities at their attacking end.
They were made to pay for those squandered chances, as Sydney FC were clinical with their chances.
The Wanderers have had mixed results during the pre-season and are coming off a disappointing A-League campaign last season.
The club continues to split its home games between Spotless Stadium and ANZ Stadium while their previous home, Parramatta Stadium, is being rebuilt.
Their first A-League match of the season is in Perth on the 21st of October and they are $2.45 favourites to beat Glory who are $2.65 home underdogs.
In other week one fixtures, there is an FFA Cup final preview when Adelaide and Sydney open the season in Adelaide.
The Reds are $2.60 to win the match, with Sydney FC the $2.45 favourites.
There is little to split the two teams from Melbourne when they collide at Etihad Stadium, with Melbourne Victory a slight favourite at $2.50. Melbourne City is priced at $2.55.
A new look Wellington team will look to upset last season’s surprise packets the Newcastle Jets. Wellington is $2.90 to win, with Newcastle a $2.20 favourite.
The Brisbane Roar are the shortest priced favourites of the opening weekend at $1.95 to beat Central Coast, priced at $3.30.
FFA Cup final
Adelaide $2.88 Draw $3.10 Sydney FC $2.20
A-League Round One
Adelaide $2.60 Draw $3.50 Sydney FC $2.45
Melbourne Victory $2.50 Draw $3.45 Melbourne City $2.55
Wellington $2.90 Draw $3.70 Newcastle $2.20
Brisbane $1.95 Draw $3.75 Central Coast $3.30
Perth $2.65 Draw $3.40 Western Sydney $2.45
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