Preview: Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United
Central Coast Mariners have endured some lean times in recent years but Alen Stajcic’s side are now just 90 minutes away from their first FFA Cup final.
Considering the Gosford club has lost in the Round of 32 from 2015 to 2018, their march to the last four has been remarkable.
After overcoming Northern NSW NPL side Maitland in the Round of 32, the Mariners beat Robbie Fowler’s Brisbane Roar on penalties before a stoppage-time winner saw them squeeze past Hume City in the last eight.
It’s been a cup run built on grit and team spirit.
They’ll need all that and a little more if they are to overcome the most successful club in FFA Cup history.
The Reds have reached three of five previous FFA Cup finals, winning the 2014 and 2018 editions.
Aside from the hard-fought Quarter Final win over Newcastle Jets (1-0), Adelaide have been free-scoring this year, overcoming Melbourne Knights 5-2 and Olympic FC 3-2 in previous rounds.
Gertjan Verbeek will be relying on his side’s vast cup experience and the sensational form of live-wire youngster Al Hassan Toure to get past the motivated Mariners.
This clash is a repeat of the 2014 Semi Final, which the Reds won 3-2 on their way to winning the inaugural FFA Cup.