Match Preview: Mariners looking to seal early AFC Cup progression

Central Coast Mariners are looking to seal an early progression to the AFC Cup knockout stages on Wednesday evening, as Terengganu visit Our Paradise in the penultimate group stage fixture.

A win on Wednesday will seal our place in the next round ahead of our final group match against Stallions Laguna in The Philippines, and you can be there to support Mark Jackson and the squad, with tickets still available via the link below.

The Malaysian outfit were 1-0 winners in the reverse fixture in September as an unfortunate Nathan Paull own goal was the decider, on Matchday One in Group G.

The Mariners are in prime position to qualify after responding to the opening day defeat with three consecutive, convincing results. 

In Mark Jackson’s first game in charge, Mariners put nine past Stallions Laguna at Our Paradise. Marco Tulio netted a hat-trick and was one of six different scorers on the night.

Bali United were the next visitors to Gosford and once again there was an abundance of goals as Mariners ran out 6-3 winners in an eventful game.

In the reverse fixture in Bali, Tulio netted a second-half winner from the spot after Alou Kuol’s opener was cancelled out by Jefferson.Β 

About our opposition

Terengganu qualified for this competition by finishing as runners-up in the Malaysia Super League in 2022, 12 points behind winners Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT).

However, this season they have failed to hit those heights in the league, currently sit sixth, 34 points behind JDT who once again occupy top spot.

Terengganu are without a win in their last three league games, drawing one and losing two, but have recently booked their place in the Malaysia Cup Final where they will face, unsurprisingly, Johor Darul Ta’zim.

In the AFC Cup this season, after defeating the Mariners on home soil on Matchday One, they drew their next two games against Bali United (1-1) and Stallions Laguna (2-2) before defeating Stallions in The Philippines 3-2 thanks to a late goal from Sony Norde, last time out.

Players to Watch

Tulio has been in red hot form in the AFC Cup this season, netting six goals in the competition so far and he will be keen to add to that already impressive tally at Our Paradise on Wednesday.

Our number 10 is equal first in the AFC Cup group stage scoring charts, level with Japanese forward Shintaro Shimizu, who has netted eight in four games for Cambodian Premier League club Phnom Penh Crown.

Terengganu’s top scorer this season is Croatian striker Ivan Mamut who has 15 so far this term, just one has come in the AFC Cup.

Their top scorer in this competition is experienced, pacy wide man Sony Norde (2) who is another potential threat that the Mariners will have to keep an eye on.