Caltex Socceroos striker Jamie Maclaren and new recruit Craig Noone have been the key contributors in Melbourne City’s march to their second-ever FFA Cup Final.
Maclaren scored in every round for Erick Mombaerts’ troops, while Noone – who scored in the first three games – caught the eye with a couple of long-range stunners.
City certainly got stronger as the competition progressed, including a superb win over fellow Hyundai A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers in the Quarter Finals.
While no side has yet won the FFA Cup away from home, City’s form suggests they could definitely break that trend in the Coopers Stadium decider on Wednesday night.
How’s how City made their way to the 2019 final against Adelaide United.
CONFIRMED: Both squads for FFA Cup Final 2019
Maclaren at the double in Round of 32
It was in South Australia where City’s FFA Cup 2019 journey started, with a tricky clash against Campbelltown City.
Maclaren gave the visitors an early lead when he hooked in a cross from Javier Cabrera, only for Campbelltown to equalise from the spot via the boot of Iain Fyfe.
Noone then announced himself to City fans with a scorching left-footer from distance just shy of the interval.
While Campbelltown rallied after the break, Maclaren sealed the deal in stoppage time to gift Mombaerts his first competitive win at the helm.
City hold on against Marconi in last 16
NPL NSW heavyweights Marconi were City’s next opponents and it was two familiar names which ensured the Hyundai A-League club were not going to be victims of a Cup shock.
It took just 94 seconds for City to take the lead as Maclaren pounced with a typical goal-poachers effort.
Noone then doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time with a cracker from outside the box, but the Stallions set up a grandstand finish as Martin Fernandez’s classy chip made it 2-1 in the dying minutes.
Despite some nervy moments, City held on for another gripping victory.
Noone and Maclaren show rolls on in Quarters
A home tie against the Wanderers loomed as City’s toughest test but they answered every question with aplomb to beat Markus Babbel’s side 3-0.
A blunder from Wanderers keeper Daniel Lopar allowed City to take the lead as he let the ball slip through his grasp, allowing Noone to round a retreating defender and pass the ball into an empty net.
Maclaren added another shortly before the interval with a gloriously improvised finish - flicking Scott Galloway's cross past Lopar at the near post.
And Noone added an emphatic third in the second half, stepping inside from the left and bending a lovely strike inside the far post from outside the box.
Five-star City too strong for Strikers in Semis
City took on NPL Queensland outfit Brisbane Strikers in the last four and were left stunned inside three minutes via a sensational strike from Andy Pengelly.
But City’s class eventually shone through as they scored five unanswered goals in front of more than 3000 fans at Perry Park.
Youngster Connor Metcalfe scored his first senior goal as City drew level before the break, before Maclaren continued his streak of scoring in every round with a nice finish early in the second half.
Cabrera came off the bench to score his first City goal before Maclaren completed his brace late on, taking his tally for the FFA Cup 2019 to six goals to be the competition’s leading scorer.
Defender Scott Galloway then had the final say in stoppage-time, hitting a vicious swerving strike that was hit too sweetly for Strikers 'keeper Bon Scott to keep out.