Adelaide United romped away with its third FFA Cup trophy finishing far ahead of challengers Melbourne City on the scoreboard in Wednesday night’s final at Cooper’s stadium.
But as United winger Ben Halloran level-headedly commented immediately after the match, amongst the euphoria of another FFA Cup final win, the 4-0 score line was probably an unfair reflection of the game. The match certainly showed that a goal can make all the difference. Whilst City forwards Jamie Maclaren and Lachlan Wales let United off the hook by missing clear chances to score in the opening 20 minutes, young Adelaide striker Al Hassan Toure made the most of a first half chance to give his team the advantage in the first half. After collecting a pass from full back Ryan Strain, Toure unexpectedly fired a shot from an acute angle, beating a red-faced City keeper Dean Bouzanis at his near post, and giving his team a 1-0 lead.
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Both teams appeared to be relying on long balls out of defence to launch attacks in the first half, with City winger Wales gaining possession but without producing a decisive end product.
Reds’ winger Halloran, who had a frustrating first half, doubled his teams’ lead soon after the restart after young Toure showed strength and balance to outmanoeuvre powerful City defender Harrison Delbridge, before releasing team mate Riley McGree who then provided the assist for Halloran to finish first time. Halloran then turned provider, following another McGree pass, to set up fellow winger Nikola Mileusnic for a 59th minute tap-in at the far post.
Craig Noone looked set to pull City back into the match but his shot from the edge of the box flashed narrowly wide of the target. City coach Erick Mombaerts changed his formation to three at the back, throwing tall defender Delbridge into the forward line alongside MacLaren, but to little effect.
Former Melbourne City player McGree drove the dagger into the heart of City by adding a fourth goal in the 74th minute to complete the scoring.
After the match, young Guinean born striker Toure capped his meteoric rise from obscurity by adding the Mark Viduka medal for man of the match in the Cup Final, to an FFA Cup winners medal. His goal in the final was his fifth in five FFA Cup match appearances this season. He also scored on his A-League debut this season.