A 3-0 win over Heidelberg saw Adelaide United progress to the semi-finals of the FFA Cup in front of 3,967 people at the Olympic Village in Melbourne.
The Reds began aggressively, taking the lead in just three minutes through Nikola Mileusnic.
The young attacker then doubled the advantage soon after and by the half-hour it already looked like Heidelberg would struggle to work their way back into the match.
Despite a promising reaction following the interval from the hosts, Adelaide possessed too much danger on the counter and power for the Bergers’ defence.
Any hope of a comeback was put to bed when Mileusnic completed his hat-trick just after the 60th minute and the South Australians ran out the remainder of the match with no real issues.
A Mileusnic hat-trick was all that separated the sides at the end of the 90 minutes. His clinical finishes inside the box, namely his second goal on the turn, highlighted the obvious importance of having players who can make the most of any opportunity inside the area.
Despite a glaring miss at the midpoint way of the second half, if players like Mileusnic can take the next step, Adelaide fans could have plenty to be excited about with a cup semi-final on the cards and hope of returning to the A-League finals very real.
Adelaide counter looking dangerous
Under the guidance of Marco Kurz, United have shown that they could make a climb towards the top six again after a disappointing title defence in 2016-17.
With a new coach and an influx of new signings, the inaugural FFA Cup winners seem re-energised this time around.
Specifically, one feature of Adelaide’s game plan that looked dangerous was the counter attack. Especially at the beginning of the second half when the Bergers had a period of possession, the Reds still maintained a significant threat on the break.
Through the likes of Karim Matmour, United showcased the pace on offer which will leave opposition A-League coaches with plenty to think about heading towards the start of the new season.
Heidelberg fatigued from heavy load
The Bergers began the game slowly, which in truth gave Adelaide all the head start they needed. Heidelberg have had a very heavy workload this season and it showed.
After suffering a grand final heartbreak after extra time on Sunday evening in the NPL, Heidelberg really did seem to be feeling the effects of the game.
As a result, the fatigue facing many of the local sides has seen the question asked of potentially restructuring the cup in order to give the NPL sides more chances of an upset later in the competition.
Despite their exit, the Bergers can take plenty from their cup run – mainly their win over Perth Glory going into the NPL finals.