Why Riera's striking FFA Cup record should have Sydney FC on red alert

The FFA Cup goes up a notch on Saturday night as the Sydney Derby takes centre stage for a spot in the Final.

Get your tickets to the match here. 

It's one of the biggest matches in the competition's history, and Western Sydney Wanderers have just the man for the occasion.

In Oriol Riera, Markus Babbel can call on a centre-forward with FFA Cup pedigree matched by few others.

Bright beginning

Riera's love affair with the FFA Cup began immediately.

Having signed for Western Sydney in July 2017, the Spaniard was thrust into the starting XI for Wellington Phoenix's visit the following month.

He didn't disappoint.

The hard-fought Round of 32 contest remained scoreless until the dying seconds of extra-time, when Riera rose to nod home a Roly Bonevacia corner.

His winner was timed in the 122nd minute - not a bad way to mark your debut.

Oriol Riera

Marquee match-winner

Educated at Barcelona and with clubs like Celta Vigo and Osasuna on his resume, hope surrounding Riera has been high ever since his switch from Deportivo La Coruna.

Add to that a marquee contract and the expectation is for big-time performances.

The 32-year-old certainly delivered that in a classic Quarter Final clash in 2017.

Up against Blacktown City, Riera sent the Wanderers on their way to what seemed a straightforward result when he tucked away a penalty in the third minute.

But Tony Popovic's team sensationally found themselves trailing in extra-time after two James Andrew goals swung the match toward an upset.

Enter Riera. The marquee man popped up with an equalising header 10 minutes from the end and then held his nerve to convert the winning spot-kick in the resulting shootout.

Oriol Riera

Maintaining the pace

With four goals last year, Riera has spearheaded his side's run to the Semi Finals with another three in 2018.

Two of those proved critical in lifting the Wanderers to a gritty 4-3 victory over plucky Hellenic Athletic in their Round of 32 date in Darwin.

He then had a hand in Alexander Baumjohann's opener against Bonnyrigg White Eagles the following round before returning to the scoresheet against Melbourne City in the Quarter Finals.

Baumjohann found his striker with a pinpoint corner and classy near post header to set in motion Western Sydney's eventual 2-1 triumph.

Riera's exceptional FFA record now stands at seven goals from seven appearances, which makes for some eye-opening reading for Sydney FC.

Roly Bonevacia and Oriol Riera