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Relief as Reds claim FFA Cup

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Adelaide United claimed its first piece of silverware since 2006 defeating Perth Glory 1-0 in the inaugural FFA Cup Final at Coopers Stadium on Tuesday night in front of 16,142 spectators.

Sergio Cirio’s 67th minute goal proved the difference while the visitors finished the match with 10-men after defender Josh Risdon was given his marching orders on the hour for a second bookable offence.

Cirio also took home official man-of-the-match honours winning the Mark Viduka Medal.

United had knocked off four A-League opponents on their way to the final, accounting for Wellington Phoenix, Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC and Central Coast Mariners, before rolling Perth to etch an historic win and mark the first trophy for Spanish coach Josep Gombau.

Awer Mabil could have opened the scoring inside the opening five minutes but he failed to latch on to Cirio’s wicked square pass through the penalty area.

United’s playmaker Marcelo Carrusca returned to the line-up, along with Nigel Boogaard, after being declared fit and he was next to test Perth keeper Danny Vukovic, stinging the gloveman’s fingers from long range.

The Glory thought they had shouts for a penalty on 25 minutes when Reds shot stopper Eugene Galekovic and Richie Garcia tangled just outside the area but replays showed the United skipper clearly won the ball.

The visitors racked up the fouls with Garcia and Risdon earning bookings in quick succession before Mabil squandered a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock in first half injury time.

After Carrusca won back possession on halfway, he released Bruce Djite who in turn teed up Mabil but the teenager blasted high and wide from eight metres with just Vukovic to beat.

United continued to dominate proceedings in the second half and Mabil wasted another chance just after the break, blazing over the bar after some neat build up play from Cirio.

The hosts took full advantage when Risdon’s tug on Carrusca’s shorts saw him earn a second yellow card on the hour and the deadlock was broken just a few minutes later.

Carrusca slipped Cirio through from the edge of the area and the Spaniard, who has scored in all five Cup games for United, rounded Vukovic and slotted his shot from a tight angle for his sixth goal of the competition.

Glory had Vukovic to thank for keeping the score at 1-0 when he tipped over a 30 metre rocket from Isaias with five minutes remaining.

The Reds were content to maintain possession and saw out the final few minutes without any incident, ensuring they held on for the win.

Galekovic said the long-awaited win was a weight off this shoulders.

“It’s unbelievable,” Galekovic, with a winner’s medal draped around his neck, told AAP.

“It makes it sweeter the long wait (and) celebrating in front of our fans.

“To do it in Adelaide is a tremendous feeling.”

Eugene Galekovic rides high as the team celebrates on the pitch. Photo: Ryan Schembri/InDaily

Eugene Galekovic rides high as the team celebrates on the pitch. Photo: Ryan Schembri/InDaily

Match details
FFA Cup Final
Tuesday, December 16

Adelaide United 1 (Cirio 67’)
Perth Glory 0
16,142 @ Coopers Stadium

– with AAP

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