After some entertaining qualifying rounds, and some scintillating moments of football, Adelaide City and MetroStars have emerged as the final two teams standing, as they prepare to contest the Westfield FFA Cup SA Qualifying Final at Coopers Stadium, the home of football in South Australia.
By Joe Pangallo courtesy FFSA
The Westfield FFA Cup in its fourth season, is the main national football knockout cup competition in Australia, and the winner of Saturday’s State Final will earn the right to progress through to the final group of 32 to compete on a national level, and the chance to be crowned Champion of Australia.
MetroStars will be looking to go back-to-back as Cup winnners after defeating Adelaide Comets 1-0 in last year’s Final. But first, they must overcome an Adelaide City side that has been at its marauding best all season.
Both teams boast plenty of talent, and the match promises some great contests between some of the league’s premier players. The highlight will be the duel between City’s dynamic midfielders Nicholas Bucco and Jordan Pudler and Metro’s Liam Wooding and Fabian Barbiero. The quartet have all been in fine form for their respective club.
A clear route to goal will be Metro’s challenge. Their wingers in Christian Esposito, and Matthew Dawber have been able to find a way through the wing channels this season, causing opposing defences some anxious moments with their speed. And (Metro coach) Robbie Saraceno will be hoping more of the same this week, if his side is to progress further in this competition.
But first they will have to negate the powerful City defence led by their central pillars in Matthew Halliday and Paul Blefari and their wing backs in Scott Nagel, who has been a great pick up from Birkalla and Bradley Corbo.
Like their opponents, Metro’s strength lies with their back four led by their captain Michael D’Aloisio, Tim Henderson, Justin Davis and two hundred gamer Anthony Solagna. Their performances have galvanised the team this season. And this week they confront their biggest challenge against the league’s most feared forward formation.
Adelaide City has a diamond studded attack led by sharp shooter Anthony Costa who is in Golden Boot form, and his support act in Joel Allwright, Mamadi Kamara, Evan Kostopoulos and brother Joseph Costa completing what is an arsenal of goal scoring options.
WHAT THE PLAYERS SAY…
Livewire forward Matthew Dawber believes both teams have proved they are the best two teams in the competition and deserve to be in the final.
“We have worked hard to get this far, and we know we will start underdogs but that will give us added inspiration to succeed,” Dawber said.
“It will be the two best teams going head-to-head for a chance to play on the big stage.”
“We want to be defined as a Champion team, and like all Champion teams they find a way to win, so come Saturday that’s what we will be looking at doing, playing our style of football and notching up a win.”
Adelaide City midfield “Maestro” Nicholas Bucco believes the game will be a tight contest, but their hunger to win trophies and playing against the best is a driving force.
“We are expecting a very challenging game, they (Metro) are a very good side but we are confident we can score enough goals to get over the line,” Bucco said.
“Our forwards have started to find form and if we take our chances we know we can win the game.”
“We are a proud club with a history of winning trophies and playing on the big stage. The opportunity to play against A-League sides and some of the best players in Australia is an added incentive.”
Written by Joe Pangallo
Feature image: Adam Butler
When: Saturday June 24, 4pm
Where: Coopers Stadium, Manton Street, Hindmarsh
Livestream: Football Federation SA Facebook page from 4pm ACST.
Radio: 531am, Radio Italiana website or download the TuneIn App and set it 531am.
1. Ryan Veitch, 2. Michael Acton, 3. Bradley Corbo, 4. Scott Nagel, 5. Matthew Halliday (C), 6. Jordan Pudler, 7. Joel Allwright, 8. Paul Blefari, 9. Anthony Costa, 11. Nicholas Bucco, 12. Carlo Armiento, 13. Daniel Filosi, 15. Anthony Babb, 16. Thomas Love, 17. Mamadi Kamara, 18. Joseph Costa, 19. Jacob Butler-Bowdon, 20. Luke Ostbye (GK), 23. Evan Kostopoulos
Coaches: Damian Mori, George Tsonis
Team Staff: David Cavaiuolo, Jack Evans
1. Isaac Carmody, 2. Nicholas Menechella, 3. Cohan Morris, 4. Justin Davis, 5. Timothy Henderson, 6. Anthony Solagna, 7. Michael D Aloisio (C), 8. Rocky Callisto (GK), 9. Jonathan Negus, 10. Liam Wooding, 15. Martin Duku, 16. Alexander Jakob, 17. Matthew Dawber, 18. Fabian Barbiero, 19. Joseph Polisena, 20. Daniel Godley, 21. Adam Van Dommele, 22. Jarrad Moffa, 23. Christian Esposito
Coaches: Robbie Saraceno, Travis Dodd
Team Staff: Giorgio Capoccia, Emily Peut, Peter Terminello