Cup glory for United as young gun lights up final
ON the way to their third triumph in four FFA Cup finals Adelaide United's teenage star Al-Hassan Toure forever etched his name into Australian soccer folklore.
They are the undisputed FFA Cup kings of Australia as an Adelaide United star was truly born on a hot October night at Hindmarsh. And three out of four trophies ain't bad.
For he is the most exciting product to emerge out of this country this year.
Stream every game of The 2019/20 Hyundai A-League season LIVE & On-Demand with KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14 day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Toure, 19, is moving closer towards being the most exciting goal-scoring talent since the teenage years of legendary Socceroos striker Mark Viduka in his national soccer league days at Melbourne Knights.
Although he scored just the one goal in Adelaide's convincing 4-0 win over Melbourne City at Hindmarsh Stadium on a balmy Wednesday, it was his poise, finesse, creativity, strength, vision and finishing which is fast winning fans and critics over.
Ben Halloran scored Adelaide's second which was created by Toure before Nikola Mileusnic ensured Adelaide's new boss Gertjan Verbeek had early season silverware in the bank after landing in Adelaide for the job in June.
It was Verbeek's second trophy as a boss after claiming the Dutch FA Cup with AZ Alkmaar in 2013.
Riley McGree making it 4-0 against a dishevelled City in the 75th minute sent most of the 14,920 onlookers into delirium.
However McGree could have landed himself in hot water when he took exception to a Scott Jamieson tackle - his former teammate at City last season - just seconds later.
With no video assistant referee to review the incident it could have surely delayed the party atmosphere before referee Alex King took control again.
However it was Toure that saved Adelaide from being battered after the first 25 minutes of the clash.
He shaped the game's destiny with a goal worthy of some of the greatest strikers on the planet.
With United needing some respite after City squeezed the Reds inside their last third, Toure did what was asked when Ryan Strain sent a straight 40m long ball forward.
The 19-year-old used his strength and speed to get to the ball first as it travelled just inside the the box.
Spotting City keeper Dean Bouzanis' was positioning himself for a cross Toure angled the ball past the surprised gloveman to hand Adelaide a 1-0 lead against the run of play.
The counter attack was perfect as City was dominating possession - the visitors had 62 per cent at the break - but they couldn't direct the ball towards the 2019 FFA Cup's No. 1 marksman Jamie Maclaren who had six goals before the final.
it was clear that Maclaren had Toure for company in the goalscoring stakes.
The former Croydon Kings junior and NPL star scored his fifth FFA Cup goal and took his tally as a professional to six after making his senior A-League debut 12 days ago.
His remarkable tally equalled his goals amount at the Kings and the Reds NPL side where he played 38 games since 2017. And United coach Verbeek predicted back in August that his young charge had all the makings of a first class striker.
Not a bad effort considering Toure had taken just seven matches to get to six goals as United once they took the lead used the counter attacking element to unsettle City.
Being direct proved City's undoing as a long ball from Adelaide captain Michael Jakobsen split City apart again.
This time Toure proved to be too unselfish when he received the ball with his back towards goal which was 10m away before relaying the ball to Halloran.
That chance died a sorry death before City reverted to switching play before Toure again caused havoc in the second half every time he was near the ball.
Toure became the provider four minutes after the break, holding off a charging Harrison Delbridge before the halfway line before releasing Riley McGree.
The attacking midfielder slipped the ball towards Halloran who made no mistake from 10m.
Mileusnic's goal arrived on the hour when McGree found Hallaran wide before his exquisite far post ball eluded Toure's boot before the winger tapped the ball home.
Toure left the pitch for Kristian Opseth and a standing ovation in the 72nd minute.
Having lost 2-1 to Melbourne City on Sunday in an A-League clash, Verbeek made three changes to his starting 11.
Strain returned from suspension for injured debutant Yared Abetew, Halloran overcame Sunday's illness for Vince Lia and Toure returned to the striker's role for Norwegian marksman Opseth.
The boldest move of the night was Curacaoan Michael Maria playing as a defensive midfielder - a position he played 12 times in his 97 games senior career before signing for Adelaide in preseason.
FFA CUP FINAL
ADELAIDE UNITED 4 (Al Hassan Toure 25m, Ben Halloran 49m. Nikola Mileusnic 60m, Riley McGree 75m)
MELBOURNE CITY ()
Crowd: 14,920 at Coopers Stadium
Adelaide (4-3-3-): Izzo; Strain, Marrone, Jakobsen (c), Kitto; Maria, D'Arrigo, McGree (Konstandopoulos 85m); Halloran, Toure (Opseth 72m), Mileusnic (Brook 90m).
City (4-3-3): Bouzanis; Galloway (Windbichler 55m), Good, Delbridge, Jamieson (c), Brillante, Wales, Metcalfe (Genreau 66m); Noone (Najjarine 72m), Maclaren, Luna.
Referee: Alex King
Yellow cards: Adelaide - McGree, Kitto, Strain; City: Genreau, Jamieson
Red cards: Nil.