Sydney FC beat Adelaide United to make another A-League grand final

Sydney FC's charge for an unprecedented third consecutive A-League title remains on track after an action-packed 2-1 semifinal win over Adelaide United.

First half goals from Adam Le Fondre and Bobo had Sydney looking comfortable, but Juande's strike just after the hour mark saw the home side on the back foot in the latter stages amid challenging blustery conditions at Jubilee Stadium on Saturday evening.

The understaffed Sky Blues made light of a host of key absentees to set up a season-decider next weekend against either Melbourne City or Macarthur FC.

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Adelaide boasted just a single win over Sydney in their past 15 meetings but they will rarely have a better opportunity to get one over the Sky Blues.

Sydney suffered a major blow with superstar midfielder Milos Ninkovic ruled out with a calf injury, missing his first match of the season. 

That major omission merely added to the Sky Blues' personnel woes with defensive pair Rhyan Grant, Ryan McGowan, as well as regular goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, all absent after representing Australia in the recent World Cup qualifiers in Kuwait.

Sydney made an uncharacteristically shaky start and the visitors came closest to breaking the deadlock in the early stages with Ryan Strain's shot from an acute angle clipping the top of the crossbar.

But it was Sydney who broke the deadlock midway through the first half with a penalty belatedly awarded by VAR after Kosta Barbarouses had been knocked over by goalkeeper James Delianov -- a seemingly clear foul apparent to all but referee Alireza Faghani.

Adam Le Fondre put Sydney FC ahead in the first half.
Mark Evans/Getty Images

Bobo then doubled the advantage two minutes before half-time by putting a neat flourish on a superb move involving Joel King and Anthony Caceres.

Alex Baumjohann displayed plenty of creativity in Ninkovic's absence and set up what should have been the clinching goal just after the break, with his threaded pass resulting in Barbarouses being upended in the penalty area for the second time.

The spot-kick was awarded with the assistance of VAR after the tightest of offside decisions, but it was all for naught as Delianov superbly saved Le Fondre's penalty.

The Englishman's miss gave Adelaide a sniff and Juande duly set-up a tense final half-hour with a superb shot from the edge of the penalty area after a blocked free kick fell into his path.

The hosts had to dig in during the final period but hang on they did to reach a fourth grand final in five seasons.