For the first time since 2015, the Central Coast Mariners are back in Asian Confederation Football.
By finishing the 2022/23 A-League Men’s season in second place, the Mariners secured their place in the AFC Cup, becoming one of Australia’s first two representatives in the competition.
Yesterday the AFC Cup draw took place, with the Mariners drawing Bali United, Terengganu FC and Stallion Laguna FC in Group G.
With the Mariners set to travel to Malaysia on September 20th to kick off our campaign, find out about our opponents and the draw below!
BALI UNITED – INDONESIA
Founded 8 years ago, Bali United play their club football in the Liga 1 competition. The team have qualified for the AFC after winning a play-off between the champions of both the 2021/22 and 2022/23 league season.
Bali overcame PSM across two legs, with both matches initially ending locked at 1-all. A penalty shootout was required, with United coming away 5-4 victors.
The team finished the league season last year in fifth, while they currently sit in seventh after nine games in their current campaign.
Playing in a red home kit, the side host their home matches at Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium. It currently hold a maximum crowd of approximately 18,000 fans.
While the team is mostly made up of Indonesian players, the squad also features footballers from Brazil, Cameroon, Thailand and Palestine. They are also coached by a Brazilian, with Stefano Cugurra currently at the helm.
We will first host Bali United on October 26th at Industree Group Stadium, with kick off at 7pm. Just two weeks later the Mariners will then travel for the away leg, with the game to kick off at 10pm AEST on November 8th.
TERENGGANU FC – MALAYSIA
Based out of Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, the team gained promotion to the top flight of Malaysian Football in 2016.
Terengganu qualified for the AFC Cup after finishing second in the Malaysian Super League, ending the campaign 12 points behind the Champions.
Playing in a black and white striped kit, Terengganu host their games at the 50,000 seat Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium, also known as SSMZA.
Nicknamed ‘The Turtles’, the team currently sit in sixth after 20 matches in the MSL. They are coached by Tomislav Steinbrückner, while the squad features players from Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Haiti and Ghana.
We travel to face Terengganu on September 20th, with kick off scheduled for 10pm AEST. The Mariners will then host them in round five of the group stage, with kick off at Industree Group Stadium at 7pm.
STALLION LAGUNA – THE PHILIPPINES
Qualifying for the AFC Cup for the first time by finishing third in the 2022/23 Philippines Football League, the Stallion Laguna was initially founded in 2001 for the Barotac Nuevo Football Club seven-a-side tournament, before officially coming into existence a year later.
Playing in a pink home kit and a white away strip, Stallion Laguna host their games at the 3,000 capacity Binan Football Stadium.
Their current head coach is Filipino Ernest Nierras, who is also the assistant coach of the Philippines Men’s National Team.
His team contains mostly players from The Philippines, however also features footballers from Argentina and Japan. The side currently sit third in the PFL, with 22 matches played so far this season.
We will play host to Stallion Laguna for our first home game of the tournament on October 4th, before we travel to play them in the last group match on December 13th.
AFC CUP DRAW
|Date||Home||Away||AEST Kick Off||Venue|
|20/09/23||Terengganu FC||Central Coast Mariners||10pm||Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium, Terengganu|
|04/10/23||Central Coast Mariners||Stallion Laguna FC||7pm||Industree Group Stadium, Gosford|
|26/10/23||Central Coast Mariners||Bali United||7pm||Industree Group Stadium, Gosford|
|08/11/23||Bali United||Central Coast Mariners||10pm||Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium, Gianyar, Bali|
|29/11/23||Central Coast Mariners||Terengganu FC||7pm||Industree Group Stadium, Gosford|
|13/12/23||Stallion Laguna FC||Central Coast Mariners||10pm||Binan Football Stadium, Laguna|