Preview: Women prepared for Semi Final Clash

Ante Juric’s Sky Blues are poised to take on the Central Coast Mariners for the first leg of semi finals.

With two matches against the Mariners ahead of them, Sydney FC’s Liberty A-League squad will travel to Industree Group Stadium for the first match-up. Despite their finals campaign commencing on rival territory, the Sky Blues are coming off a two week rest. Finishing their season as runners up after a 4-0 loss to Melbourne Victory, the Harbour City Club will be looking to feature in their 11th grand final.

The Mariners, who ended their season fifth on the ladder, will be running on a high after a nail biting finish last weekend against Melbourne Victory. The elimination final ended in a penalty shootout with successful shots from Casey Dumont, Faye Bryson, Wurigumula and Bianca Galic. The 4-2 shootout in favour of the Mariners secured their third finals appearance since 2008/2009 and their first ever finals win.

Ones To Watch: Mackenzie Hawkesby and Wurigumula

Mackenzie Hawkesby and Wurigumula will be key players for spectators to keep an eye. Each scoring in the most recent match between the two clubs, it will be a contest to see who can score first.

Since her return to the A-Leagues, Hawkesby has been instrumental for Ante Juric’s side. Scoring 17 goals since her maiden season in 2019, Hawkesby has gone on to net three goals this season and three assists. The midfielder is known for her high press style of play and ability to create big chances in a match, which she has achieved six times this season. The 24 year-old has sported the captain’s armband this season, supporting skipper Princess Ibini.

Mariners forward Wurigumula is equal second for the club’s all time goal scorer, just trailing behind Michelle Heyman’s 11 goal feat. The international player has enjoyed a positive start to her A-League career, netting eight goals this season, with the first being in her second A-League match ever. The 27 year-old has a 50% penalty conversion success rate, with her most recent being against Melbourne Victory last weekend.

Hawkesby challenging for the ball in front of a packed Leichhardt Oval.

Head-To-Head 2023/2024 Season:

10-5-7CCM-RECORD-SYD FC11-6-5
15.2SHOTS PG16.8
4.3SAVES PG2.8

Team News:

No players sustained injuries for Sydney FC against Melbourne Victory so the side will remain unchanged. Fiona Worts, Kirsty Fenton and Nat Tobin continue to work on their recovery behind the scenes after sustaining injuries earlier in the season. Maddie Caspers will unfortunately miss the rest of the season with thigh injury picked up on international duty.

The Mariners are yet to release their lineup and have not declared any new injuries amongst their roster. Their squad should remain unchanged.

Ibini gets in a tangle with her Melbourne Victory counterpart.

Last Time Out:

The two teams last faced-off in the pouring rain at Leichhardt Oval earlier this year. A home game for the Sky Blues gave them the upper hand, but an unfortunate own goal from defender Charlotte McLean saw the club trailing behind their visitors. In the second half, the match turned into a heated affair when Mariners substitute goal keeper Sarah Langman was sent off for her second offence, taking down Sky Blue Abbey Lemon in the process. Tori Tumeth was next to make an attempt at goal but was disallowed due to a foul. Hawkesby looked to have salvaged the match in the 90+1 minute netting a last ditch goal. However, a last minute penalty from Wurigumula sealed the win for the away side late in injury time.

Match Details:

Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC
Liberty A-League Semi Final First Leg
Sunday 21st April
Industree Group Stadium, Gosford, NSW
Kick Off: 3:00pm AEST
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ & 10Play
Tickets: Click Here