SA FFA CUP FINAL – Adelaide Olympic vs Adelaide City match report By Euan James (@euanjames_)
Adelaide City have lost the South Australian FFA Cup Final and the chance to play on the national stage, at the hands of Adelaide Olympic, in a 3-2 loss at Coopers Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In cool conditions on an immaculate pitch, it was Adelaide City who created the first chance. In the opening seconds, Fabio Ferreira dispossessed his man and whipped in an inviting cross that narrowly evaded Anthony Costa’s head.
Just minutes later, Adelaide Olympics’ Paul Espina flashed a ball across the City goal and Ricardo Da Silva was there to score.
In the 20th minute, Joseph Costa drove forward and found Stefan Casalbore on the left whose cross was pinpoint enough for Fabio Ferreira to leap highest and header straight into the net to equalise.
Evan Kostopoulos linked up with Fabio Ferreira numerous times on the right as it was a constant theme of the first half. Both sides had chances but neither could break the deadlock in an even opening forty-five.
The second half started very promisingly for City as Adriano Pellegrino found Fabio Ferreira in acres of space on the right. After receiving the ball, he drove towards goal and was brought down by Olympic defender Kristi Vangjeli, leaving referee Daniel Elder with no choice but to award to spot kick.
Up stepped captain Marcos Flores to take the penalty but Olympic keeper Daniel Vaughn produced a great save low down to his left to deny City the lead.
Just five minutes later, in the 58th minute, City were handed the opportunity for redemption again from the penalty spot. Stefan Casalbore was bumped in the box as he chased down a long ball and the subsequent penalty was this time converted expertly by new signing Fabio Ferreira. The goal gave City the lead and Ferreira an impressive double on his debut.
In the 68th minute, Adelaide Olympic found an equaliser through Christos Pounedis who slotted the ball into the corner after it was squared to him in the box.
Tom Love entered the game to try and create some attacking chances for City but it was not to be as Olympic went on to score the winner in the 78th minute through Butler-Bowdon who came back to haunt his old side.
City Manager, Michael Matricciani responded by throwing Chris Pepe and Dominic Matricciani on to try and swing the match back in City’s favour but ultimately it was not to be.
A golden opportunity went begging in stoppage time as Tomas Maricic found himself completely free in the box and somehow his header sailed just wide of the post. This summed up a frustrating afternoon for City who had enough chances to win the game but defence frailties let them down.
City now turns their attention to the NPL relegation battle as they take on Raiders at Adelaide City Park on Saturday, June 29.
Adelaide Olympic 3 (DaSilva 3’, Pounendis 68’, Butler-Bowdon 78’)
Adelaide City 2 (Ferreira 20’, 58’ (p))
Lineup: 46. Joe Gauci (GK), 45. Tomas Maricic, 22. Haris Vuckic (7. Chris Pepe 78’), 5. Zak Waters, 8. Joseph Costa, 21. Adriano Pellegrino, 48. Marcos Flores (C) (16. Tom Love 74’), 8. Joseph Costa, 10. Evan Kostopoulos, 20. Fabio Ferreira, 17. Stefan Casalbore, 9. Anthony Costa (6. Dominic Matricciani 82’)
Unused subs: 1. Fabian Garuccio (GK), 19. James Boffa