The history of the FFA Cup 2018 Final venue

Coopers Stadium will be the scene as Adelaide United and Sydney FC look to become the first club to win a second FFA Cup in what should be an epic final later this month.

There’s no doubt there will be a cracking atmosphere inside the stadium, at a venue purpose-built for football.

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The Reds have turned Coopers (formally known as Hindmarsh Stadium) into a fortress in both the FFA Cup and Hyundai A-League over the years, with so many highlights at the ground.

And to set the scene ahead of the October 30 final, we’re looking back at the history of Adelaide United’s home ground.

History made in the inaugural FFA Cup

Of course, this won’t be the first time Coopers has played host to an FFA Cup Final, with the Reds hosting Perth Glory in 2014, the first year of the competition.

More than 16,000 fans crammed in to provide a scintillating atmosphere, inspiring Josep Gombau’s men to a 1-0 win.

Spanish winger Sergio Cirio scored the decisive goal, sending the sea of Reds fans into raptures.

It was a huge moment for the club not only as they created their own slice of history, but also broke a near nine-year drought for silverware.

When skipper Eugene Galekovic lifted the trophy it was a sight to behold, with the already boisterous atmosphere reached fever pitch as a sea of confetti covered the players.

One of the best night’s Coopers Stadium has seen!

Adelaide players with the FFA Cup won at Coopers Stadium in 2014.
Adelaide players with the FFA Cup won at Coopers Stadium in 2014.

Reds’ rivalry with Sydney FC at Coopers

The two clubs have been involved in some thrilling clashes over the years, many of which have come in the City of Churches.

While the Reds hold the upper hand when it comes to head-to-head matches at the venue, Sydney FC have also had their own success there.

One of the Sky Blues’ best display on their way to the Hyundai A-League double in 2016/17 came at Coopers Stadium on Boxing  Day, when they ran out 4-0 winners in front of a shocked holiday crowd.

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Sydney FC also had a big win back in October of 2006 when a crowd of more than 15,000 were there as a Benito Carbone-inspired Sky Blues beat John Kosmina’s Reds 4-1.

But Adelaide also have plenty of good memories of this fixture.

One of which proved a pivotal match on their way to winning the title in 20/15/16.

Languishing near the foot of the ladder, the Reds came from a goal down to snatch a 2-1 win at the death thanks to a Marcelo Carrusca penalty.

Adelaide and Sydney have met once before in the FFA Cup at Coopers Stadium back in 2015 with Dylan McGowan scoring in the 114th minute to hand the Reds a 2-1 win after extra-time in the Round of 16.

The Reds knocked Sydney FC out of the FFA Cup at Coopers Stadium in 2015.
The Reds knocked Sydney FC out of the FFA Cup at Coopers Stadium in 2015.

Some iconic Reds matches at the Stadium

There’s a number of matches that will stand out for Reds fans at Coopers Stadium, from that 2014 FFA Cup decider to thrilling Hyundai A-League matches against bitter rivals Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC.

But we’ve picked out three clashes that will live long in the memory.

  • Hyundai A-League semi-final in 2016

With a spot in the Grand Final at stake, there was a heaving atmosphere inside Coopers with an expectation of playing a home decider the following week.

And Gui Amor’s men gave the home fans what they wanted with a blistering second-half performance against Melbourne City.

Tension was high with scores locked at 0-0 at the break but a double to Bruce Djite and further goals to Dylan McGowan and super-sub Pablo Sanchez saw the Reds win 4-1 on their way to taking out their maiden Championship nine days later.

  • Reds take out their fury on North Queensland

Midway through the 2010/11 Season, the Reds had a day to remember against strugglers North Queensland Fury.

Imports Marcos Flores and Sergio van Dijk both scored hat-tricks as Adelaide crushed the visitors 8-1 in one of the best performances in Hyundai A-League history.

This still remains the biggest win in the league’s history, equalling Adelaide’s 7-0 drubbing of the Jets in 2015, also at Coopers.

Sergio van Dijk, Marcos Flores and Mat Leckie celebrate one of Adelaide's eight goals against the Fury.
Sergio van Dijk, Marcos Flores and Mat Leckie celebrate one of Adelaide's eight goals against the Fury.
  • Adelaide make their mark in ACL

The Reds were up against Bunyodkor – and a certain Brazilian World Cup winner in Rivaldo – in the first league of their AFC Champions League semi-final back in 2009.

A sensational midweek crowd just a tick under 17,000 were on hand to see if Aurelio Vidmar’s underdogs could cause a shock against the cashed-up Uzbek side, who arrived in Adelaide on a chartered flight.

But the Reds produced something spectacular, with goals to Diego Walsh, Fabian Barbiero and Cristiano giving them a huge upset 3-0 win on their way to the ACL final.