Adelaide United will play Perth Glory in the inaugural FFA Cup final after he Reds defeated Central Coast 3-2 at Coopers Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Two goals to Sergio Cirio and one to Awer Mabil ensured United will host the final, which will be played on December 19.
[quote]The Mariners were trailing 2-0 at half time after Cirio and Mabil scored within four minutes to cap a dominant first half display by the home side. [/quote]
The Mariners were trailing 2-0 at half time after Cirio and Mabil scored within four minutes to cap a dominant first half display by the home side.
Central Coast, prepared to sit back and wait for the counter-attack, looked lacklustre and well out of the game by the main break.
That all changed in the second half as the visitors began to play with the purpose and urgency befitting of a semi-final.
Matt Simon was brought on by Phil Moss at half time and the move bore fruit, with the attacker netting a goal just three minutes after the re-start to make it 2-1.
Simon looked lively and looked like he might lead a Central Coast fight back only for the striker to leave the field due to a quad injury just ten minutes after scoring.
The injury halted Central Coastís momentum and Cirio put the game beyond doubt in the 88th minute after tapping in a deflection form Mariners keeper Liam Reddy.
Josh Rose scored a consolation goal in the last minute of injury time that finished the score at 3-2.
Untied started as well as they have all season, creating a host of chances and forcing Reddy into a number of desperate saves.
Pablo Sanchez had a couple of chances, but the Spaniard couldnít find his first goal for the Reds.
Cirio and Mabil were constant threat, supplied by the quality of Marcelo Carrusca and co, and it looked like only a matter of time until the home side scored.
And score they did in the 40th minute, with Carrusca taking a free kick from 25m out finding Sanchez, who in turn found Cirio behind the Mariners defensive wall.
The Spaniard drove it home with a single touch for a 1-0 lead.
It was 2-0 just four minutes later when the Spaniard again combined to set up Mabil, who fired a superb strike into the right-hand corner of the net to leave the Mariners in disarray.
Simon gave his team some hope with his 48-minute strike, the result of some fine pace and positioning to get on the end of an Anthony Caceres pass and fire the ball into the bottom corner of Eugene Galekovicís net.
It was to no avail, however, with Adelaide marching towards the first ever FFA Cup final.