Phew! We made it. A season that began far later than usual has finally reached its arrowhead, with six teams still in the race…
Melbourne Victory will host the Central Coast Mariners in the FFA Cup final at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
This should be a thrilling end to a thrilling FFA Cup tournament.
Victory are gunning for a second title, while Central Coast are in an FFA Cup final for the first time.
Melbourne Victory earned their spot after a hard-hitting 4-1 win over Wellington Phoenix last Saturday, all four goals coming in the last 25 minutes of the game.
Central Coast earned their historic place after a 1-0 defeat of Sydney FC, with a decisive penalty from Marco Urena.
Melbourne Victory’s form over the A-League Men and FFA Cup competitions of late has been nothing short of an incredible turnaround.
Following a dead-last place in the 2020-21 A-League Men season, Victory currently sit top of the table and are one win away from a second FFA Cup title.
A win in Saturday night’s final would be the just reward for Tony Popovic, who has put a tremendous effort into turning the Victory’s fortunes around, with excellent recruiting and a working game plan.
These are the players that could make a difference for the two sides based on their semi-final performance.
Nick D’Agostino scored two goals in the last ten minutes of the game, which not only gave the Victory the lead, but also put the result beyond doubt.
Ben Folami took a total of four shots. He was constantly in attack and he scored the goal that sealed the match in the 84th minute with a brilliant strike.
Despite not getting on the score sheet, Robbie Kruse was all over the ground and set up the go-ahead goal for D’Agostino.
Marco Urena took a total of nine shots and scored the decisive penalty to win the semi-final. He also completed 22 passes and was all over the ground.
Oliver Bozanic completed 58 passes. He will look to continue this form in the final.
Daniel Hall was the leading ball getter, with 88 passes completed, and he won three out of four duels.
With the home crowd behind them, it is Melbourne Victory’s final to lose.
They start as the strong favourites to bring home their second FFA Cup title and first piece of any kind of silverware since 2018.
Prediction: Melbourne Victory 2, Central Coast 0.