Adelaide United have set up an A-League semi-final clash against Melbourne City after edging out the Central Coast Mariners 3-1 in Sunday’s elimination final.
Adelaide are priced at 8/1 to go on and win the A-League grand final but first they will need to get past Melbourne City over two legs.
The scoreline does not reflect how close the game was. The Mariners were right in the game and pushed the Reds all the way until Bernardo Oliviera wrapped up the win in the 92nd minute.
Craig Goodwin had given Adelaide the lead on 26 minutes before Kusini Yengi made it 2-0 on 67 minutes. Storm Roux pulled one back for the Mariners in the 71st minute and Reds boss Carl Veart admits it was a tough game.
"It was a bit of a stretched game, that's the way Central Coast play," he said.c"They push a lot of numbers forward and I think we limited the opportunities they had to get in behind us.
"It's finals football, it's always on a knife's edge, it can go either way and our boys were tremendous."
Meanwhile Central Coast boss Nick Montgomery felt the result was harsh and his side deserved more. They started well and the crucial opening goal did come against the run of play.
"I thought we dominated the game for 25 minutes - it was a sloppy goal for us to concede," he said. "We had some half-chances, probably picked the wrong option in that front third a few times but we felt comfortable up until that point."