Semi-Finals Preview: League’s most lop-sided rivalry takes centre stage & Sky Blues face 9-year low

It’s crunch time in the Liberty A-League Finals Series as the remaining four teams go head-to-head for the first legs of their respective Semi-Finals! takes a look at what to expect from both encounters…


INS AND OUTS: The teams news is in ahead of this weekend’s Liberty A-League Semi-Final first legs!
GAME RESCHEDULED: Mariners v Sydney on free-to-air TV at earlier kick-off time

Sunday, 3pm (AEST): Newcastle Jets v Melbourne City

Our first game of the afternoon sees the Jets welcome newly crowned Premiers Melbourne City to Maitland Sportsground.

Fresh off their dramatic 4-2 away win over Western United in week one of the finals, the Jets will be looking to carry their momentum into the first leg of their showdown with City – but Newcastle have NEVER beaten Melbourne City, in the club’s 16-year history – a statistic that puts the underdog side well and truly behind the eight ball in this Semi-Final clash.

In their 15 prior meetings, City have won 14 times and drawn just once, picking up 10 clean sheets in the process. It’s the most games any two teams have played in the Liberty A-League without one side winning a single game.

But Newcastle are in the mood to break droughts of late.

In the Elimination Finals, a double from the in-form Sarina Bolden helped secure her side the momentous victory with further goals in extra time from Melina Ayres and Sophie Hoban helping the Jets achieve their first finals win in 16 years. That result was Newcastle’s fourth win on the bounce – the club’s longest winning streak ever.

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One big decision the Jets’ head coach will now have to make is who starts in goal this weekend? With regular number one Izzy Nino now available for selection after serving her two-game ban for violent conduct, Campbell will have to choose whether or not to put her straight back into the line-up or stick with her impressive deputy Tiahna Robertson.

Meanwhile Melbourne City come into the contest no doubt still on a high following the dramatic turn of events which saw them clinch the Premier’s Plate on the final day of the regular season.

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City are winless in their last three A-League Women finals games, losing twice in regular time and once on penalties, after winning all eight of their previous post-season games in the competition will leave a few uneasy.

Given they finished inside the top two City earned the right to have a week’s rest as the teams ranked third-sixth duked it out in the elimination finals, and they now face the lowest ranked side (Newcastle) given as a reward for finishing top of the pile.


  • Newcastle Jets: L – W – W – W – W*
  • Melbourne City: L – W – D – W – W


  • Newcastle Jets: 6th
  • Melbourne City: 1st


  • Newcastle Jets substitute players have scored (8) and assisted (5) more goals than the substitutes of any other team in the 2023/24 A-League Women season while only Brisbane Roar FC’s bench (0) has scored fewer than Melbourne City FC’s (1).
  • Hannah Wilkinson (Melbourne City FC) has scored three goals across her last four games in the A-League Women and has been directly involved in five goals in her four career appearances against the Newcastle Jets in the competition (4 goals, 1 assist).


Sunday, 3pm (AEST): Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC

Please note: Sunday’s Semi-Final in Gosford has changed from a 5.45pm AEST kick-off to a 3pm kick-off, and will now be televised live and free on 10 BOLD. FULL DETAILS

The second of our Liberty A-League Semi-Final first legs sees Central Coast Mariners take on Sydney FC at Industree Group Stadium.

Galvanised by their dramatic penalty shoot out over Melbourne Victory in their elimination final, Emily Husband’s side will now be preparing to host the Sky Blues in front of a bumper crowd in Gosford as the game acts as the second instalment of a double header with the men’s side.

A masterful display from Mariners goalkeeper Casey Dumont ultimately proved to be the difference on the day as the former Victory shotstopper scored one and saved two spotkicks during the shootout to send her side through to the Semi-Finals.

Remarkably, of the EIGHT penalty shootouts to have been contested in Liberty A-League finals history Dumont has won all FIVE of the shootouts she’s featured in, saving four penalties during that period.

In what is their first campaign back in the Liberty A-League in over 14 years Central Coast are actually unbeaten in their two games against Sydney FC this season, the most recent result being a 2-1 win at Leichhardt Oval back in January.

Even more encouraging for the home side is the fact they’re actually unbeaten in their last four A-League Women games at Industree Group Stadium (W2 D2), keeping their opponents goalless in the first halves of each of those four games.

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Sydney FC come into the contest off the back of a much-needed rest last weekend, a break no doubt used by Ante Juric and his staff to ease some weary legs and heads following a heartbreaking end to the regular season.

With three games to go the Sky Blues needed to win two of their remaining three matches in order to guarantee themselves a fourth Premiers Plate and with it, secure their place in Liberty A-League history.

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However defeats to Canberra United and a final day 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Melbourne Victory saw the Sky Blues drop below Melbourne City into second as they relinquished their grip on the season’s first piece of silverware at the final hurdle.

With Cortnee Vine enjoying her most productive ever season in the Liberty A-League (10 goals, 6 assists) the Mariners will certainly have to be on their guard and in Mackenzie Hawkesby the Sky Blues have a player capable of inflicting damage upon any team.



  • Central Coast Mariners: W – W – W – L – D* – (won on pens)
  • Sydney FC: W – W – W – L – L


  • Central Coast Mariners:5th
  • Sydney FC: 2nd


  • Sydney FC have lost their last two A-League Women games without scoring a goal; the last time they lost more consecutive games was a three-game stretch from November to December 2018 while only once in competition history have they failed to score a goal in three straight games (3 games from December 2014 to October 2015).
  • Casey Dumont (Central Coast Mariners) has a league-high 83% save percentage this A-League Women season (min. 3 games) and has made 20 saves across her last three games in the competition, conceding only a single goal across that stretch.
  • 46% of Sydney FC’s total passes have been played forward up the pitch this A-League Women season, the highest proportion of any team in the competition; however, their overall passing accuracy of 68% is the lowest of any team.