Adelaide United claim inaugural FFA Cup 1-0 as Perth Glory see red

FFA Cup Champions: Adelaide United claimed a 1-0 win in front of their parochial crowd.

Adelaide United are the first club to be etched on the FFA Cup after a 1-0 win over 10-man Perth Glory in the inaugural final.

Enjoying a numerical advantage after Josh Risdon’s second-half dismissal, United’s Sergio Cirio inflicted the mortal wound in the 67th minute.

Adelaide suffocated the life out of Perth, making possession pay in their now-familiar style.

The victory gives United their first trophy in seven years and the first fruits of their Spanish revolution under Josep Gombau.

The FC Barcelona-trained coach has brought a new style, new signings and a winning culture to Adelaide.

His side started the contest favourites over the A-League leaders thanks to home-ground advantage.

But until the red card, Glory’s rear-guard looked set to withstand the Reds’ assault.

Whether it was the windy conditions, or Perth’s tough pressing, Adelaide were unable to fashion clear-cut chances for much of the match.

Marcelo Carrusca tested Danny Vukovic early from long range, while Andy Keogh was too isolated as the sole Perth frontman to threaten at the other end.

It was Ruben Zadkovich who caused the most commotion, three times threatening his participation in the final with rash challenges.

Jimmy Jeggo was a particular target as the Glory racked up the fouls in response to Adelaide’s possession.

Referee Chris Beath’s leniency was driving Adelaide United mad but he finally had the card out when Richard Garcia held back play and Risdon dived in rashly.

As a disappointing half came to an end, flying winger Awer Mabil fluffed their best chance.

Marcelo Carrusca’s mugging of Rostyn Griffiths allowed Bruce Djite to play a perfect through-ball to Mabil.

With only the keeper to beat, the young winger fired wide to his, and everyone else in the 16,142-strong crowd’s disbelief.

As the game opened up in the second half, Perth’s ill-discipline cost them just before the hour mark.

The slightest of tugs to Carrusca’s shirt brought about Risdon’s second yellow and brought Perth a man down.

Ten minutes later, their scoreboard disadvantage was the same.

As Adelaide sniffed an opener, the probing Carrusca found Cirio with a through-ball, who rounded Vukovic before netting from a tight angle.

While Perth struggled on, from that point on there looked to be only one outcome.

Gombau’s side butchered several chances to extend the lead but needed no help celebrating.

The second-year Reds coach threw his hands in the air and around his fellow coaches on the final whistle.

ADELAIDE UNITED 1 (S Cirio 67m) bt PERTH GORY 0 at Coopers Stadium, Adelaide.

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