A-Leagues sides meet in $153k showdown 17 years in the making: Everything you need to know

aleagues.com.au previews Thursday night’s AFC Cup showdown between Macarthur FC and Central Coast Mariners – From the prize money on offer, broadcast details and ticket information.

There are more than just bragging rights on offer as Isuzu UTE A-League rivals Macarthur FC and Central Coast Mariners prepare to meet in the AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Final this Thursday night.

Not only will the victor move a step closer to lifting the continental trophy, but they will pocket USD $100,000 (AUD ~$153,000) just for winning Thursday night’s all-Australian AFC showdown in Campbelltown – a first for the A-Leagues in 17 years competing in Asia.

Purchase your AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Final tickets here

But that’s only a tiny slice of the total prize money on offer in this season’s AFC Cup.

The champions will pocket USD $1.5 million (AUD $2.3million), with the runners-up collecting USD $750,000 (AUD $1.14m).

Before that, Macarthur or Central Coast must navigate their Zonal Finals battle this week with the winner of the one-off game moving on to play India’s Odisha – winner of the South Zone in the Inter Zone Semi-Final.

Taichung Futuro FC and FC Abdysh-Ata of Kyrgyzstan are facing off in the other Inter Zone Semi-Final.

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The winners of the Inter Zone Semi-Finals will then face off in a two-legged Inter Zone Final.

Finally,, the winner across those two legs will progress to face the winner of the West Zone Final in a showpiece event on May 5 to crown the AFC Cup champions.

And in the event Macarthur or Central Coast win the AFC Cup, they will receive an indirect slot into the 2024-25 AFC Champions League Elite via the preliminary rounds.

Kick-off time and how to watch

The match is scheduled to get underway at 7:00pm AEDT on Thursday, February 22. The game will also be broadcast live and free via 10 Play.


Tickets for Thursday night’s knockout fixture can be purchased HERE.

Road to the ASEAN Zonal Final

Macarthur FC

AFC football has come to Campbelltown in 2023-24, with Macarthur having their first taste of Asian continental action thanks to hoisting the 2022 Australia Cup trophy.

The Bulls have gone from strength to strength on the Asian stage, scoring a competition-high 23 goals in Group F.

Mile Sterjovski’s Macarthur – spearheaded by former Monaco and Marseille star Valere Germain and captain Ulises Davila – won five of their six group-stage fixtures to cruise through to the knockouts.

In all seven of their AFC Cup matches so far, the Bulls – currently third in the Isuzu UTE A-League – have scored at least three goals.


Matchday 1: Shan United 0-3 Macarthur FC
Matchday 2: Macarthur FC 8-2 Dynamic Herb Cebu
Matchday 3: Phnom Penh Crown 3-0 Macarthur FC
Matchday 4: Macarthur FC 5-0 Phnom Penh Crown
Matchday 5: Macarthur FC 4-0 Shan United
Matchday 6: Dynamic Herb Cebu 0-3 Macarthur FC
Zonal Semi-Final: Macarthur FC 3-0 Sabah FC

Leading goalscorers

Jed Drew: 4
Valere Germain: 4
Ulises Davila: 3
Tomislav Uskok: 2
Jake Hollman: 2
Raphael Borges Rodrigues: 2
Lachlan Rose: 2
Ali Auglah: 2

Central Coast Mariners

Central Coast returned to Asian club competition for the first time since losing an AFC Champions League play-off against Guangzhou R&F in 2015 and the Mariners have barely put a foot wrong en route to the Zonal Final.

Despite their off-season of upheaval and juggling an Isuzu UTE A-League title defence, the Mariners – who are second in the league – won four of their six Group G matches to top the standings after dropping the opening match of the campaign.

Central Coast scored 21 goals – the second highest of the group stage – thanks to routs of Stallion Laguna (9-1) and Bali United (6-3) and a tournament-high eight goals from Marco Tulio, who has since departed for Japan.

The Mariners earned their date with Macarthur via a 4-0 demolition of Phnom Penh Crown inspired by a Ryan Edmondson hat-trick.


Matchday 1: Terengganu 1-0 Central Coast Mariners
Matchday 2: Central Coast Mariners 9-1 Stallion Laguna
Matchday 3: Central Coast Mariners 6-3 Bali United
Matchday 4: Bali United 1-2 Central Coast Mariners
Matchday 5: Central Coast Mariners 1=1 Terengganu
Matchday 6: Stallion Laguna 0-3 Central Coast Mariners
Zonal Semi-Final: Central Coast Mariners 4-0 Phnom Penh Crown

Leading goalscorers
Marco Tulio: 8
Ryan Edmondson: 3
Christian Theoharous: 2
Alou Koul: 2
Dylan Wenzel-Halls: 2
Jacob Farrell: 2