Adelaide United has advanced to the 2016 A-League Grand Final after they tore apart Melbourne City 4-1 at Coopers’ Stadium. The win sees Adelaide host the A-League Grand Final, for the first ever time which will be hosted at the larger Adelaide Oval next week.
All the goals came in the second half, as Adelaide United ran rampant, Bruce Djite scoring a brace, in a stunning performance for the Reds. It shapes Adelaide as strong favorites for the Grand Final, with home advantage, and the Premiership already in the bag a win there will be their first Championship.
The match was a fast end-to-end affair in the opening stages with the game played at a high tempo, with Adelaide just edging the possession. Despite the pace and end-to-end nature of the match, the best chances in the early stages were coming off of set-pieces.
After 20 minutes with Adelaide acting as the stronger side Melbourne City started to come back trying to get chances. But Adelaide was much too strong, their running tearing apart City’s defense and in the 24th minute they had a great opportunity to open the scoring. A great Bruce Djite run allowed him to get a shot away, but he went near post, allowing Thomas Sorensen to make the save.
The Reds went agonizingly close to the opener in the 34th minute after Bruce Kamau’s shot got through Sorensen. Sorensen managed the save, but saw it roll toward goal but was bailed out by Jack Clisby who cleared it off the line.
It took just three minutes in the second half for Adelaide United to open the scoring, coming through a stunning strike from Djite. Afforded space outside the box, Djite hit a powerful shot with too much on it for Sorensen, bending past him and in to the back of the net.
Melbourne City was forced to respond, and unsurprisingly it was Aaron Mooy who was the main man for the visitors. Despite that Adelaide’s defense was keeping things tight, and restricting City to set-piece chances which they were unable to take advantage of.
Just before the hour mark, Adelaide United was given a golden opportunity to all but seal their place in the Grand Final. Kamau came in to the box and was clipped by Clisby, allowing Djite to step up to the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way and putting the Reds 2-0 up.
Now two goals down, Melbourne City went to their bench bringing on two players in an effort to find a way back in to the match. But oddly one of those changes was defensive with Ben Garuccio coming off for Connor Chapman.
With 18 minutes to play Melbourne City pulled their way back in to the match after some lax defending from Adelaide. The substitution worked as Chapman was able to cut the ball back for a wide open Nick Fitzgerald who put a perfect shot past Galekovic and inside the near post to give City a sniff of extending the match.
But with two minutes to play, Adelaide United sealed their place in the Grand Final through a well executed corner. The corner came in to the box and found Dylan McGowan, who hit a volley to the open far post to give Adelaide a 3-1 win.
Adelaide weren’t done yet, and in stoppage time they put the icing on the cake, sealing the 4-1 win. Djite sent the cross to Pablo Sanchez at the far post, and he somehow managed to beat the keeper, slotting it in from a tight angle. That really wrapped up the win as Adelaide United advanced to their third Grand Final, which they will host, looking for their first Grand Final win.