FFA Cup: Canberra Olympic - Sydney FC Preview


FFA Cup fever has well and truly hit the nation's capital as Canberra Olympic look to produce a miracle against Sydney FC in Wednesday night's first semi-final. 

It will be a true David versus Goliath battle at Viking Park in Canberra, as the plucky part-timers from the ACT – celebrating their 60-year anniversary in 2016 - try to produce what would be the biggest shock in FFA Cup history against the Sky Blues, who have scored eight goals in their first two A-League matches of the season.

Sydney have a powerful squad, who are hungry for silverware, and Graham Arnold's side have been one of the teams to watch in the A-League's opening fortnight.

Back-to-back 4-0 wins over Western Sydney Wanderers and Central Coast Mariners in the last fortnight shows Sydney are in-form and ruthless.

But this is cup football and as we have seen already this year that anything is possible as Canberra Olympic look to become the first second-tier club to earn a place in the FFA Cup final.

Olympic have had the luck of the draw so far - they have yet to meet an A-League side - but their wins over Surfers Paradise Apollo, Redlands United and Green Gully underline the  ability of Frank Cachia's side to grind out results.

The quarter-final win over Green Gully was the perfect example of that.

Despite being reduced to 10 players, Olympic's rock-solid defence held firm before they made the most of their opportunity down the other end by converting a stoppage-time penalty for a 1-0 win.

Skipper and goalkeeper Angelo Konstantinou has proved a hero not only between the sticks but also at the other end, scoring two penalties on Olympic's route to the last four.

Konstantinou will again be crucial to their chances, along with the likes of Jordan Tsekenis, Robbie Cattanach and the Bobolas brothers - Tim and Nicholas.

Plus Olympic have massive Wanderers fan Philippe Bernabo-Madrid up front and the Colombian wants revenge on the Sky Blues for their massive Sydney derby win. 

The hosts haven't conceded a goal in the 2016 FFA Cup - a record matched only by Sydney.

Sky Blues captain Alex Brosque is expected to make his first start of the campaign after coming off the bench to score against Western Sydney and Central Coast, while Bernie Ibini should see game time as he works his way back from injury.

Sydney are deserved favourites for this match - Arnold has his defence watertight, an impressive central midfield duo in Brandon O'Neill and Josh Brillante, plus a forward set-up that is clicking nicely.

The Harbour City club are no strangers to Canberra having played pre-season friendlies against Belconnen United and Canberra FC in recent years, but this will be their first competitive visit.

This year's FFA Cup has already seen Green Gully and Redlands United eliminate A-League opposition but a win on Wednesday for their conquerors - Canberra Olympic - would be an even greater shock.



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