Macarthur FC and Central Coast Mariners will face off in the first all A-Leagues tie in the history of Asian competition after their respective victories in the AFC Cup Zonal Semi-Finals on Tuesday night.
Macarthur kick-started the action with a 3-0 win over Malaysian club Sabah FC, inspired by Jed Drew’s two goals and one assist in a dominant display by the 20-year-old.
The Mariners backed that up with a comfortable 4-0 triumph over Phnom Penh Crown; star recruit Ryan Edmonson scored a hat-trick off the bench to seal the result set up by Jing Reec’s first half opener as the reigning Isuzu UTE A-League Champions booked their place in the ASEAN Zonal Final alongside the Bulls.
BULLS 3-0 SABAH: Young gun stars as Bulls breeze past Sabah to progress to next phase of AFC Cup
MARINERS 4-0 PHNOM PENH: Star Mariners signing scores three to set up all A-Leagues Zonal Final in AFC Cup
AFC Cup knockouts – where to from here?
The winner of next Thursday’s ASEAN Zone Final between Macarthur FC and Central Coast Mariners will be crowned ASEAN Zone winners.
But here’s where it gets a touch complicated… before we proceed, this was the lay of the land before kick-off on Tuesday:
The ASEAN Zone winner (Macarthur of Mariners) will take on Indian club Odisha FC – winner of the South Zone – in the Inter Zone Semi-Finals. Taichung Futuro FC and FC Abdysh-Ata of Kyrgyzstan are facing off in the other Inter Zone Semi-Final.
The winners of the Inter Zone Semi-Finals will then face off in a two-legged Inter Zone Final.
At last, 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.
But first things first: Thursday night in Campbelltown is set to be a cracker. It’s Macarthur v Central Coast – the first time two Australian clubs have met in AFC competition – for the title of ASEAN Zone winner in the AFC Cup. Get excited!
Full-time: Macarthur FC 3-0 Sabah FC – Campbelltown Sports Stadium
Macarthur FC winger Jed Drew notched two goals and one assist as the Bulls eased to a 3-0 victory over Sabah FC in the AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Semi-Finals at Campbelltown Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Bulls took a first-half lead through captain Ulises Dávila before Jed Drew doubled the advantage 21 seconds after the restart. Drew secured his brace and the 3-0 result with a classy finish in the 80th minute as the Bulls brushed aside the Malaysia Super League outfit to book a spot in the AFC Cup ASEAN Zone Final.
Fellow Isuzu UTE A-League club Central Coast Mariners face Phnom Penh Crown on Tuesday night (8pm AEDT kick-off), with the winner of that game set to face the Bulls in the Final on February 22 – a fixture set to be hosted by the Bulls.
Full-time: Central Coast Mariners 4-0 Phnom Penh Crown – Industree Group Stadium
Star Central Coast recruit Ryan Edmonson scored a second-half hat-trick off the bench to seal a 4-0 Mariners win over Phnom Penh Crown in the AFC Cup Zonal Semi-Finals at Industree Group Stadium on Tuesday night.
Jing Reec opened the scoring in the first half for the Mariners before Edmonson came off the bench to bag his first three goals in Mariners colours since his January arrival.
The result sets up an A-Leagues battle in the ASEAN Zone Final; Macarthur FC defeated Sabah FC in the earlier Semi-Final on Tuesday, and will host the Mariners next Thursday, February 22 at Campbelltown Stadium in the next phase of the AFC Cup.