Australia Cup R32 draw: Holders handed tricky tie as A-Leagues clubs enter the fold

Sydney FC will kick off their defence of the Australia Cup with a tricky trip to Victoria NPL outfit Oakleigh Cannons FC after the draw for the Round of 32 was completed on Wednesday evening.

In a repeat of their 2022 meeting which saw Oakleigh defeat the Sky Blues in the Quarter-Finals, Ufuk Talay’s side will now be aiming to avoid another upset as they bid to retain the trophy for a second-straight season.

Elsewhere the most successful side in Australia Cup history, Adelaide United, were drawn away to two-time Quarter-Finalists Blacktown City FC while competition debutants O’Connor Knights SC will host 2022 winners Macarthur FC in the nation’s capital.

In another stand out draw, 2021 winners Melbourne Victory will be hoping to avoid a potential banana skin when they head to northern NSW to face Lambton Jaffas FC.

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After winning the Premiership, Championship and AFC Cup treble in 2023-24 Central Coast Mariners will be looking to add another trophy to their already stocked cabinet this year and begin their quest for a fifth trophy in three seasons with a trip to Heidelberg United FC.

Western Sydney Wanderers reached the Quarter-Finals last time out, and will be hoping to kick on this year with their campaign beginning in Queensland against Brisbane City FC while 2023-24 Isuzu UTE A-League Semi-Finalists Wellington Phoenix travel across the ditch to Victoria to take on South Melbourne FC.

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As was the case in 2023, the teams who finished 9th to 12th in last season’s Isuzu UTE A-League will contest the Australia Cup playoffs with Brisbane Roar (9th) taking on Perth Glory (12th) while Newcastle Jets (10th) face Western United (11th) – with both games taking place at Darwin Football Stadium on Wednesday July 24.

The winner of the clash between Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory will then face an all A-League affair against Melbourne City while one of Newcastle Jets or Western United will then travel to Sydney to face Rockdale Ilinden FC in New South Wales. 

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