Western United will search for a place in the last four of the Australia Cup on Sunday afternoon, taking on Sydney FC in an intriguing quarter-final match up.
Australia Cup Quarter-Final
Sydney FC vs Western United
Sunday, 17 September
Kick-off: 3:00pm AEST
Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live and free on 10 Play
John Aloisi will have a couple of selection boosts ahead of the match with Noah Botic set to arrive back from international duty with the Olyroos to put himself in contention.
Botic missed the Round of 16 win over Gold Coast Knights while in camp but could return up front after scoring and assisting in the Round of 32 against Edgeworth Eagles.
Star Brazilian Daniel Penha has been developing his fitness in training and could be in contention to make his Western United debut, while a number of young stars that have already featured in the Australia Cup will have an eye on playing a part again.
Last time out
Western United had to fight hard against Gold Coast Knights in the Round of 16, needing two goals inside the final 20 minutes to earn the victory.
On their respective senior debuts, Oliver Lavale and Matthew Grimaldi made it an historic night for the Green and Black, becoming the Club’s two youngest ever competitive goal scorers and booking a place in the quarter-finals for the first time.
Sydney FC have performed well in their two Australia Cup matches so far, coming through a thriller in the Round of 32 against Central Coast Mariners before taking care of business against APIA Leichhardt.
The Sky Blues won an incredible penalty shootout against the Mariners with Andrew Redmayne’s spot kick securing a 10-9 win after Jaiden Kucharski had equalised in stunning fashion at the end of extra time.
The Round of 16 clash was less dramatic with goals either side of the hour mark guiding the side to a 2-0 win over APIA.
Sydney are coming off a positive Isuzu UTE A-League Men campaign which saw them return to the finals after a season away and defeat rivals Western Sydney Wanderers before bowing out against eventual runners-up Melbourne City.
Youngsters Kucharski and Jake Girdwood-Reich have impressed alongside the likes of Robert Mak and Anthony Caceres in Sydney’s senior core.
Steve Corica’s side will be eager to continue their development and move one step closer to a trophy, providing United with a strong test.
Players to watch
If he is able to make his Western United debut, Penha will certainly be a key player to watch in this fixture as he looks to pick up where he left off in Australian football.
United’s midfield duo of Angus Thurgate and Sebastian Pasquali have looked at home together with Steven Lustica also in the mix, while Michael Ruhs has looked lively through the previous two matches.
Youngsters Lavale, Grimaldi and Max Bisetto will be eager to excite again if they are given another opportunity, as will Jake Najdovski.