The 2022 Australia Cup Final is just around the corner. Catch all the action live and free on 10 and 10 Play this Saturday.
The 2022 Australia Cup Final will see NSW National Premier Leagues (NPL) outfit Sydney United 58 go head to head against Isuzu UTE A-League side, Macarthur FC.
Sydney United have shattered records throughout their Cup campaign as they become the first NPL club to make it to the final.
Let’s dissect all the action and hear what both coaches have to say ahead of the big occasion.
A Cup run to remember
Their path to the final has been quite the journey which began way back in May at association outfit Quakers Hill.
It took another three wins before they sealed their passage into the round of 32 which saw them rise to the challenge as they knocked off ACT NPL side Monaro Panthers.
Their next result was quite the feat; stunning reigning Isuzu UTE A-League champions Western United on penalties after the match ended at one-a-piece.
A road trip followed as they saw off Queensland NPL outfit Peninsula Power 1-0 courtesy of a Yianni Fragogiannis pile driver.
Full attention was now on United, they had a date with another A-League outfit on their own turf.
Most of their players have had experience in these types of matches; shot stopper Danijel Nizic had spent time crafting his trade in England while Chris Payne and captain Glen Trifiro have featured in the A-League.
Fans at King Tom witnessed the very best of their beloved club on that monumental afternoon on Sunday, with the match evenly poised at 2-2 – extra time was required to decide the affair.
It was Trifiro whose experience came to the forefront with his exquisite volley sending his club into the final.
Key battles to look out for
We dissect some of the big battles to look out for at CommBank Stadium on Saturday.
We begin with some of the more straightforward battles with United centre back pairing Yianni Perkatis and club captain Adrian Vlastelica faced with the prospect of shutting down Ulises Davila and Daniel Arzani.
Both Bulls players were unstoppable last time out with a combined four goals between them. Will United’s centre backs be able to stifle the creative duo? If so, they may be in with a chance of causing yet another major upset.
Moving onto the centre of the park where the experienced Trifiro will be going head to head with the likes of Daniel De Silva, Kearyn Baccus and Jake Hollman.
Andreas Agamemnonos and Anthony Tomelic starred together in the heart of midfield in that Roar victory. Will they once again be up to the task of blocking Macarthur’s potent attack?
Yorke quick off the mark at Macarthur
All the attention has so far been on United, and rightly so given everything that they have achieved to get to this point. However, they should not discount Macarthur who have been near perfect to reach their inaugural finals spot.
Since Dwight Yorke joined them this preseason, they have displayed an attacking brand of football which has proven to be a handful for opposition defences.
You may be forgiven for forgetting that this is Yorke’s first head coach position. To date, he has unbeaten in all his competitive meetings in charge of the Bulls and if Saturday goes to plan, he could enter the upcoming Isuzu UTE A-League season with some of the most highly coveted silverware in Australian football.
What they have to say: Dwight Yorke
“The Cup competition is enormous because you can get real games, you get much more out of competitive games than friendlies, and so we try to create a competitive atmosphere around the place. And the further you go in this Cup competition, you realise, well hold on a minute, this is, this is the best way of preparing for pre-season and there’s no better way,” Yorke said.
“And, and so we came in here with the aim of being in the final, but it wasn’t a sure thing because there’s so much work that we needed to do at this football club. And although we’ve made good progress. I mean that: good progress. There is still a lot of work to be done, but with the good progress that we’ve made, here we are three months down the line and we are in a Cup final.
So that is kind of ideal and what you’re looking for. And yeah, we are in that phase where now we have an identity, now we have a philosophy, now we understand what it takes to win and how you go about it. Our work ethic is totally different and certainly from a mental standpoint, the mentality in and around the place is much more vibrant, much different to when I first inherited the club.”
What they have to say: Miro Vlastelica
“The belief was always there that we could get the job done against A-League opposition. As we progressed in the tournament, the belief got stronger and stronger. Definitely a credit to everyone involved to how far we’ve come,” the Sydney United coach told The Global Game.
“We’re a tight knit group. The bond that they have make them stronger. They are their own little family and they fight for each other, you’ve seen that when we’ve been behind in a couple of games. They don’t stop, it’s just another challenge being put in front of us.”
Vlastelica is under no illusion that their opponents may hold the upper hand in terms of match fitness.
“You know what you’re up against when the opposition are full time professionals that are doing at times, two sessions a day and they’re getting stronger each week. We’re just trying to maintain and keep bodies on the park and keep our players as fit as we can.”
The United coach is confident of his side’s abilities and will stick to his side’s tried and tested game plan against the Bulls.
“We’re going to stick to our guns. We respect Macarthur, we respect the players but we’re not going to fear anyone.
2022 Australia Cup Final Details
Sydney United 58 FC vs Macarthur FC
Saturday, 1 October – CommBank Stadium
Broadcast begins at 7:00pm, kick off at 7:45pm on Network 10 and 10 Play – The Home of Football