A Bruce Djite brace has delivered Adelaide United a 4-1 semi-final triumph against Melbourne City and a spot in the A-League decider.
Djite scored a screamer and converted a penalty in a game-breaking display in Friday night's semi-final at Coopers Stadium.
Nick Fitzgerald gave the visitors some hope with a 72nd-minute reply
before Adelaide's Dylan McGowan and Pablo Sanchez sealed the result with
The Reds will host a May 1 Adelaide Oval grand final
against the winner of Sunday's semi-final between Western Sydney and
Djite rewarded Adelaide for sustained dominance of City, who fell short of a first grand final appearance.
powerful attacker scored twice in 12 minutes to send the Reds into
their second A-League grand final - the other, a loss in 2007.
broke the deadlock with a stunner in the 48th minute: after Marcelo
Carrusca sliced through Melbourne's defence and laid off, Djite, from
about 16 metres, launched a sweet right-footer that smacked into the
And in the 60th minute, Djite added another after
Bruce Kamau, whose speed and skill bothered City all night, was brought
down in the box.
The contact from Melbourne defender Jack Clisby
appeared marginal, but Djite assuredly slotted the penalty with a
low-left blast to delight the sell-out 15,489 Adelaide crowd.
Fitzgerald then caused some home-town jitters with a clinical
right-footed goal from 10 metres out to revive the visitors with 20
But their fate was soon sealed: in the 88th
minute, from an Adelaide corner, McGowan deflected into the net from
close range and, in the last minute, Sanchez added another as United
remained on track to claim the double - the Premiers Plate and the
Adelaide United coach Guillermo Amor said he was proud of his winning players.
"I'm feeling fantastic," he said.
"It's important to enjoy this moment - and to think that there is one more game, to prepare well."
Melbourne City coach John van 't Schip said his side were outclassed by Adelaide.
"We didn't get to the level that we thought we could," he said.
"We didn't keep the ball good enough, didn't create, (striker) Bruno (Fornaroli) was isolated too much ... it was hard work."