Route to the final

Ahead of the 2023 Australia Cup Final, let’s take a look back at how both sides got there after four rounds of football across the country.

Round of 32

Sydney FC 3 (10) – (9) 3 Central Coast Mariners (Sydney FC win on penalties

One of the greatest matches in Australia Cup history got the Sky Blues rolling in this competition. Sydney FC held a two goal lead midway through the second half but were pegged back by two goals to the visitors, taking the match to extra time.

Sydney FC players celebrate winning a 22 penalty shootout

In extra time, the Mariners took the lead for the first time in the match and Sydney FC needed a 122nd minute equaliser from Jaiden Kucharski when all hope seemed lost, to send the game to penalties.

All players would step up to take a penalty, with goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne scoring the winning spot kick, sending the Sky Blues into the last 16.

Newcastle Jets 2 – 3 Brisbane Roar (A.E.T)

Another thriller in the Round of 32, this time in Newcastle when Brisbane Roar visited in their first competitive game under Ross Aloisi. The Jets opened the scoring in the first half but just before half time, the scores were level after a corner was whipped into the near post and Ryan Scott in goal, turned it into his own net.

In the second half, both teams again traded goals with the hosts netting first, and the visitors pegging them back. The match took a turn however, when Brandon O’Neill was shown a red card and the Jets reduced to ten.

Roar celebrate their goal
Newcastle Jets are now coached by former Sydney FC Assistant Rob Stanton

They managed to hold on and force extra time, however former Sydney FC player Alex Parsons swept home a close range finish to send Brisbane into the Round of 16.

Round of 16

APIA Leichhardt 0 – 2 Sydney FC

A comfortable victory for the Sky Blues as they swept aside the NPL Champions at Leichhardt Oval.

While unable to find a way through in the first 45, Steve Corica’s side continued to probe in the second and found the breakthrough with a brilliant solo run from Anthony Caceres. In form striker Pat Wood doubled their advantage and the visitors were unlucky not to add more, striking the post and drawing the best for the APIA keeper.

Sydney United 58 0 – 5 Brisbane Roar

While this scoreline looks quite convincing on paper, it wasn’t quite that on the day. The side in orange were gifted their opener with a careless giveaway at the back and ultimately could never recover. Behind 2-0 at half time, Sydney United had a guilt edge chance to half the deficit but couldn’t convert.

A breakaway goal, penalty and tap in, all blew the scoreline away from last year’s cup runners up and sent Brisbane Roar into the Quarter Final.

Thomas Waddingham found the net

Quarter Final

Sydney FC 3 – 0 Western United

Sydney FC headed back to Leichhardt Oval, this time welcoming Isuzu UTE A-League opposition, Western United. From minute one, the Sky Blues were at it and switched on.

Pat Wood celebrates his goal against Western United

Brattan hit the post and the warning wasn’t heeded from the Green and Black with Anthony Caceres finishing beautifully and Pat Wood scoring his third in as many games.

More of the same ensued in the second half, with Jack Rodwell sweeping home his first goal in Sky Blue and securing a 3-0 victory and a spot in the last four.

Brisbane Roar 4 – 2 Western Sydney Wanderers

A packed out Perry Park saw a back and forth affair between the Roar and Wanderers. The visitors ran out to an early lead before the hosts returned favour and went into the break ahead. Jack Clisby scored a stunning long range effort to silence the home crowd and bring the game level again.

From a corner moments later, Brisbane would re-take the lead with Joe Caletti seeing his strike deflect in on the way to goal. Henry Hore would give his side a two goal buffer and ultimately that was enough to see them into the pot for the Semi Finals.

Semi Final

Melbourne City 1 – 2 Sydney FC

The Sky Blues made the trip to Melbourne to take on the reigning Isuzu UTE A-League Premiers and after a back and forth opening took the upper hand. Pat Wood scored a brilliant goal to give his side the lead on the stroke of half time and Joe Lolley was threatening throughout.

Pat Wood made it four in four games

Finally, after five assists in the Australia Cup, Englishman Lolley would find the net, curling one beyond Jamie Young. The Sky Blues looked comfortable and gave debuts to new signings Fabio Gomes, Gabriel Lacerda and Jordan Courtney-Perkins in the dying stages of the goal.

A poor ball would give the hosts hope, but Sydney FC held on to book their ticket to the final for the first time since 2017.

Melbourne Knights 0 – 1 Brisbane Roar

Brisbane secured their spot in the Final thanks to a nervy performance over NPL side Melbourne Knights. After 18 year-old Thomas Waddingham opened the scoring via a scrappy finish, the Knights absorbed a lot of pressure.

Brisbane Roar defend a free-kick against Knights

The visitors didn’t create too many other chances, however they were made to work for the victory, with Melbourne Knights constantly looking dangerous when they went forward.

The big chance of the second half came with a two man breakaway with just the keeper to beat, but the Roar fumbled their lines and held on with nerves to head to their first ever Australia Cup Final.

The Final

Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar
Saturday 7th October 2023
Allianz Stadium, Sydney, NSW
Kick Off: 7:45pm AEST
Gates Open: 6:15pm AEST
Broadcast Live: Network 10 & 10Play
Tickets: Click Here