Westfield FFA Cup semi final preview: Wanderers v Adelaide
Two in-form teams in the Hyundai A-League meet in Tuesday night's Westfield FFA Cup semi final with Sydney FC awaiting the winner in the final.
A cracking contest awaits at Campbelltown Stadium on Tuesday night between Marco Kurz’s unbeaten United and the home team Western Sydney Wanderers.
Here's all you need to know about this blockbuster semi-final clash.
WHEN AND WHERE
Tuesday, October 24
Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney
HOW THEY GOT THERE
Wanderers survived a huge scare from giant-killing PS4 NSW NPL club Blacktown City in the last eight.
After being forced to extra-time, the Wanderers trailed 2-1 before Oriol Riera’s 110th-minute header forced a penalty shootout, which they ultimately won.
The quarter final scare came after two solid wins in the earlier rounds.
The Wanderers saw-off fellow Hyundai A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix 1-0 (after extra-time) in the round of 32, before a comfortable 4-0 win over Victoria’s Bentleigh Greens in the last 16.
The Reds have been ultra-impressive on their march to the semis.
Kurz’s troops have yet to concede a goal, including a 3-0 drubbing of Heidelberg United in the quarters.
That win came after back-to-back victories over Hyundai A-League opposition in the earlier rounds, a 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets (Round of 32) followed by a 3-0 win over Melbourne Victory.
Despite seeing coach Tony Popovic leave the club on the eve of the Hyundai A-League season, Wanderers have shown some excellent form over the first three weeks of the 2017/18 campaign.
After an opening round 2-1 win over Perth Glory, the Wanderers have had back-to-back 2-2 draws, including Saturday night’s thrilling Sydney Derby.
The Reds have looked superb in the opening rounds of the Hyundai A-League season, unbeaten through the first three rounds.
Their only win came in round 2 against Brisbane Roar (2-1), while a stunning double to veteran midfielder Vince Lia helped them secure a 2-2 draw with Victory in front of almost 20,000 fans at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.
Wanderers: Oriol Riera
The Spanish striker has been the standout for the Wanderers in the Westfield FFA Cup scoring in every round so far, including a brace in the quarter-final win over Blacktown City.
Strong in the air, brilliant with the ball at his feet and an excellent finisher, Riera will be the man the Reds must stop on Tuesday night.
Reds: Johan Absalonsen
Scored a cracking goal in the Round of 16 win over Melbourne Victory and has thrilled the fans with his excellent wing play.
The Dane not only has the ability to score but has the knack of setting up his teammates as well, and his duel with Wanderers right-back Josh Risdon should be a cracker.
WHAT THEY SAID
Hayden Foxe, Western Sydney Wanderers coach
"It's fantastic, a great opportunity.
“It’s a chance to win some domestic silverware and the players know that.
“We've still got a lot of improving to do.
“Bit by bit, week by week, day by day we're building and we'll get stronger and we'll get better.”
Marco Kurz, Adelaide United coach
“Our target in the pre-season was to get to the [Westfield] FFA Cup semi-final,” Kurz told www.theffacup.com.au.
“The first round could have gone either way but we had the luck to get through but the second round against Victory and then Heidelberg we have played very well.
“Of course, whenever you reach a semi-final you want to make the final. We will see, it will be a tough game but we will be ready and hopefully will play our best game.”