For Sydney FC and the Central Coast Mariners, they will be meeting at the exact stage of the same competition for the second season running. That’s a 0.1% chance of meeting at the same stage of the Australia Cup two years running. Bizzare right?
In last year’s edition, the Mariners took the lead and soon the Sky Blues returned fire and raced up to a 3-1 advantage. In the end to end nature of the match, the Mariners would answer back, scoring at the death to force extra time.
It eventually went to spot kicks with Andrew Redmayne coming up big from 12 yards, saving the penalty of Jason Cummings and setting up his team for a winning penalty via Connor O’Toole.
The Sky Blues progressed to the Quarter Finals of the tournament that season, coming unstuck against Oakleigh Cannons in a 2-1 defeat.
During the regular Isuzu UTE A-League season, the NSW neighbours met twice and both finished inside the top six, making their way to finals. In the first meeting on the Central Coast, the Mariners came from behind to win 2-1 before Sydney FC returned the favour at Allianz Stadium in a thrilling 3-2 victory where an Adam Le Fondre brace was the difference, in between a red card to either side.
This time around, with plenty of changes between the two sides, both clubs will be looking to hit the ground running as they begin their quest for Australia Cup glory in Wollongong.
At WIN Stadium, Sydney FC have played three competitive matches, winning two and drawing the other. The first came in 2014 with a 0-0 draw with Newcastle Jets and after the COVID-19 lockdown laws, played Wellington Phoenix at their Australian home in a 2-1 victory in 2021.
In the 2016 FFA Cup, Sydney FC faced Wollongong Wolves at their home and a second half Matt Simon brace with a late David Carney strike was enough to oversee the NPL outfit in the Round of 32.
The Mariners last played at WIN Stadium in December 2021 and beat the Wollongong Wolves in the FFA Cup Round of 16 2-1, coming from behind that evening with goals to Moresche and Harry McCarthy.
Nick Montgomery and Steve Corica will be without their star strikers from last season with Jason Cummings and Adam Le Fondre both departing their clubs with a new number nine to come up from each side. Max Burgess will also serve the first game of his suspension in this fixture after receiving a red card in the Semi-Final against Melbourne City last season.
It promises to be a tantalising game between two Isuzu UTE A-League sides, and coupled with the NPL match between Wollongong Wolves and Sydney Olympic following the cup match, a festival of football will be enjoyed.
Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners
Australia Cup Round of 32
Sunday 13th August 2023
WIN Stadium, Wollongong, NSW
Kick Off: 3pm AEST
Gates Open: 2:30pm AEST
Broadcast Live: 10Play
Tickets: Click Here