Adelaide City produced a strong display of quality football to defeat reigning SA PS4 National Premier League Champions Campbelltown City Red Devils 2-1 at Steve Woodcock Park to progress to the SA Semi Finals of the Westfield FFA Cup today.
In a real team display that saw a concerted effort by all, the 1st half was an arm wrestle of concentration and structure. Both teams worked hard maintaining a disciplined approach with few opportunities up front.
In the absence of Mamadi Kamara with injury, coach Damian Mori reshuffled the pack, with the same resolute approach and ball control in effect. Despite some strong forward runs out wide, particularly by Scott Nagel from deep, it was a slalom run by Joel Allwright in the middle of the field which opened up the opposition and in the 38th minute, Anthony Costa slotted the ball low on the angle past the keeper for his and the team’s first goal.
That was where the scoreline remained going into the sheds, tight, but with City showing a small ascendancy as the half closed.
The next 45 was a new ball game. Play opened up from both teams and it was Campbelltown who came out willing. A strong offensive period for the Red Devils rewarded them with a goal as a Lui Ditroia put one past City’s Luke Ostbye to level the score at the 60th minute.
That was the switch to send the Black and White machine up a gear.
It was all attack from City for the next twenty minutes. Raids came from all angles and players. Allwright’s shot was blocked at close range by the keeper, Pudler’s hammer forced a serious save, with another off the resulting corner swinging just wide. Smith’s shot’s were ominous, with one off the cross bar and another deflected out. Nagle again ran from deep only to see his effort off target. The opposition found Allwright difficult to handle and he made good forward movements with the ball, as did Tom Love who had come on as a substitute in the 2nd half.
Despite a prolonged offensive period for City, as the match wore on Campbelltown too had chances, either to be dispossessed by central defenders Halliday and Blefari or their efforts stopped by Ostbye in front of goal who was called on to display his superlative style on one occasion in particular.
With the match approaching added time, and the scores locked at 1-1, City stormed again. Costa received the ball, surging into the box but was brought down just inside. Bouncing to his feet he looked for the referee’s response. “Play on” was the reply. And with that, Costa simply turned, saw the keeper out of position, and struck with machine like precision to finalise the scoring.
Added time seem to continue for quite a period, but the Black and Whites held on to an important victory over the local rivals.
The Cup Semi Final match ups will be determined later this week where City will learn its next opposition. Potential contenders include West Torrens Birkalla after they knocked out Para Hills 2-0, and Metro Stars following their 4-2 win over Croydon. The final Quarter Final match between Blue Eagles and Gawler will take place Monday night.
City will face today’s defeated Red Devils again in two weeks time at home when the two club’s meet in a historic double header fixture of both the men’s and women’s NPL back to back.