After their first win at Allianz Stadium, Sydney FC travel up the F3 to face the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford this Saturday.
For Steve Corica’s side it was a much-needed win at the renovated home but a win that their performances warranted much earlier in the competition.
In the clash against top of the table Melbourne City, the Sky Blues put on the perfect performance at Allianz Stadium in front of a bumper crowd with goals to Joe Lolley and Adam Le Fondre proving the difference, cancelling out Jamie Maclaren’s first half penalty.
Coming into this clash Sydney FC utilised the break to their advantage allowing players to get back fit again, none more so than Adam Le Fondre who came off the bench to find the winner in front of The Cove. That was the Englishman’s first goal at the new stadium, having arrived at the club during the relocation period.
For the Mariners, they arrived back from the break with a loss to their rivals the Newcastle Jets. It was a hot Sunday afternoon in Gosford and despite starting strong, failed to capitalise on their early dominance and the Jets were too good for the Yellow and Navy.
The Mariners had three players in the Socceroos squad at the FIFA World Cup and it is predicted that they will be back in the squad this weekend despite their tired performance on Sunday afternoon. For the Central Coast, they started the season strong but have dipped lately, having won only one of their opening four home matches at Central Coast Stadium, a 4-2 victory over a ten-man Western United.
The most recent meeting between these two sides was in the Australia Cup Round of 32 which the Sky Blues won on penalties with a number of Academy graduates on show as Jaiden Kucharksi scored in the penalty shoot-out. Last time out at Industree Group Stadium (formally Central Coast Stadium), Sydney FC were rampant and ran out 5-0 winners with Adam Le Fondre netting a hat-trick.
Overall, Sydney FC hold the upper hand against the Mariners as they have met in A-League matches, cup matches and A-League Grand Final deciders. Playing 58 times, the Sky Blues have won 28 and scored 99 goals against the Yellow and Navy. The Mariners have won 17 and scored 80 with the remaining 11 matches drawn.
A favourite away trip for Sydney FC fans, this Saturday afternoon clash is set to be a cracker.
Ones to Watch
Max Burgess – Sydney FC
Max Burgess started his first Isuzu UTE A-League match of the season against Melbourne City and put in a Man of the Match performance against the league leaders. Building on his performance and goal against Celtic FC, the midfielder went to another level and was instrumental in everything the Sky Blues created. Currently in his third spell with Sydney FC after spending time at the club as a junior, Burgess will be looking to make a real mark on the league and push his Sydney FC side up to the top of the table.
Garang Kuol – Central Coast Mariners
Garang Kuol has just recently returned from the FIFA World Cup with the Socceroos but bizarrely is yet to start a professional football match, being used as an impact player off the bench. At 17 years old, he has a bright future ahead and has already signed a contract with Newcastle United which will see him depart the Central Coast in January when the transfer window opens. He is being regarded as one of the brightest young talents that Australia has produced since Harry Kewell but he will need to begin to push into the starting XI to make more of a claim to that. With big pressure on the teenager’s shoulders to perform, it can be a toss of a coin as to whether he will find the net or not.
Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC
Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s Round Eight
Saturday 17th December 2022
Industree Group Stadium, Central Coast
5:00pm AEDT Kick Off
Broadcast Live: Paramount+
Tickets: Click Here