quarta-feira, 19 de outubro de 2016
FFA Cup: Sydney FC beats Canberra Olympic 3-0 at Viking Park in first Cup semi-final
Victorious Sydney FC will play the waiting game to learn which of Melbourne's A-League powerhouses they will face in the club's historic FFA Cup final.
The Sky Blues have booked a maiden berth in the tournament-decider after defeating valiant NPL side Canberra Olympic 3-0 in Wednesday night's semi-final at Viking Park.
Still standing between them and the club's first piece of silverware in seven seasons is the winner of next week's second semi between Melbourne City and defending FFA Cup champions Melbourne Victory.
They will not find out which until Tuesday night, nor will Graham Arnold's side know the venue of the match which is pencilled in for November 29 or November 30.
However, Arnold said Sydney's excellent form bodes well for lifting some silverware for the first time since 2010.
"That's six straight wins if you count the other FFA Cup games," Arnold said.
Olympic were no walk in the park for the Sky Blues, who were made to work hard for their success despite missing some gilt-edged chances that could have inflated their winning margin.
But ultimately the goals came from three players yet to start this A-League season.
Defender Seb Ryall and midfielder Milos Dimitrijevic, neither a part of Arnold's first-choice XI, put Sydney up 2-0 before substitute Bernie Ibini netted the third to mark his first competitive match in nearly 18 months following a broken leg.
Captain Alex Brosque also came through 90 minutes for the first time since re-injuring his hamstring in February, in a positive sign he will avoid the issues that sidelined him for so much of last season.
The immediate priority is recovering in time for Sunday's A-League trip to Wellington, when Alex Wilkinson (ankle), Michael Zullo (illness) and Josh Brillante are expected to reclaim their starting spots.
"If there's one negative, Canberra pushed us hard and made us fight the whole way," Arnold said.
"It took a lot of energy."
Proud Olympic coach Frank Cachia said nothing he had ever experienced had come close to his team's home semi-final, where 5000 people watched a determined display and several fine saves from captain and goalkeeper Angelo Konstantinou.
"We didn't want to just defend, we knew that would just lead to disaster," Cachia said.