City and Brisbane Roar will attack the second week of the A-League finals with confidence after morale-boosting displays in their respective elimination final victories.
Roar set up a semi-final against Western Sydney at Pirtek Stadium next Sunday with a dramatic 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory and City booked their semi-final berth against Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Friday with a 2-0 win over Perth Glory.
City limped into the finals with losses to Glory and United but coach John van ‘t Schip was delighted with how his players rediscovered their attacking flair yesterday, in particular Uruguayan star Bruno Fornaroli, who scored two stunning goals.
The Reds will be well-rested after earning a week off having claimed the Premiers Plate but van ‘t Schip said that Coopers Stadium holds no fears for his team.
“We’ve shown it already two times [with wins] there this year, so it’s not that we don’t know how to beat them,” van ‘t Schip said.
“But every game is different and having a week longer break to prepare is in their advantage.
“I think for us it’s important that we won this game with the confidence and the vibe to keep that going.”
Socceroos defender Ivan Franjic didn’t play against Glory after he injured a hamstring at training on Friday and van ‘t Schip said it was still too early to tell if he would be available to take on Adelaide.
Roar ended Victory’s A-League title defence in breathtaking fashion when they scored in the 88th and 93rd minutes after going 1-0 down with just four minutes remaining in regular time.
Coach John Aloisi lauded the strength of the belief in his group after the win at Suncorp Stadium and backed his players to carry that confidence into their away semi-final against the Wanderers.
“I think we’ve shown all season that we’re a side that can beat anyone and play good football,” Aloisi said.
“We’ve played two good games down at Pirtek. We match up really well against the Wanderers.
“The first game we won 3-1 and the next game we lost 2-1 but we were good, that was probably our best away performance.
“We’re confident against the Wanderers we can put on a good performance and get the win we want.”
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