Sunday sees two high-stakes clashes in the Australia Cup, where the final four teams are vying for the places in the final.
A-Leagues foes Melbourne City and Sydney FC play in the afternoon, while NPL Victoria team Melbourne Knights look to cause an upset against Brisbane Roar after dark.
Check out our comprehensive preview below!
Melbourne City FC v Sydney FC
Time: 3:00 pm AEST
Date: Sunday 24 September 2023
Venue: AAMI Park
Melbourne City host Sydney FC in the early kick off on Sunday at AAMI Park, seeking to reach the final for the third time in their history.
City produced another late turnaround in the competition, downing MetroStars 2-1 in the quarter-finals courtesy of two goals after the 84th minute.
Curtis Good equalised with six regular-minutes to play before Tolgay Arslan scored his third goal in this year’s Cup four minutes into additional time.
The reigning A-League Men’s premiers have made tough work of their National Premier Leagues opposition this Cup, coming from behind in both encounters.
They got their AFC Champions League campaign underway on Wednesday night, being held to a 0-0 stalemate at home with J.League 2 outfit Ventforet Kofu.
Sydney overcame their second A-Leagues test of the 2023 Australia Cup, getting up in a convincing 3-0 victory over Western United in the quarter-finals.
Anthony Caceres and Patrick Wood kept their fine scoring records in the competition going, while Jack Rodwell scored his first in Sky Blue in the second half.
However, it was Joe Lolley who ran the show; the experienced wideman picking up all three assists for the goals last Sunday.
Sydney have now kept two clean sheets in a row in the competition since their 3-3 draw and subsequent penalty victory against Central Coast Mariners in the Round of 32.
Sydney FC and Melbourne City played three close encounters in the 2022/23 A-League Men’s season, but City blew them away in the second-leg semi-final play-off 4-0.
Steve Corica’s team will be eager to avoid another battering on Sunday, having shown defensive solidity this season.
This promises an exciting clash between two strong Australian top-flight clubs.
Melbourne Knights FC v Brisbane Roar FC
Time: 6:00 pm AEST
Date: Sunday 24 September 2023
Venue: Knights Stadium
Sunday night sees the final non-top-flight side Melbourne Knights take on Brisbane Roar at Knights Stadium for a shot at the Australia Cup final.
The Knights were involved in one of the most dramatic games of the Cup so far, defeating Heidelberg United 3-2 in the quarter-finals.
They were 2-1 down heading into added time, but a 90th-minute equaliser from Anton Kinnander, followed by Mitchell Hore’s strike six minutes into additional time, won it for the side.
That late drama extended a strong run of scoring form in the latter stages of the Cup, taking their tally to nine in the three games played, however, Sunday is their first A-Leagues test.
Mitchell Hore has been an integral part of the Knights’ Australia Cup run, scoring in each of the team’s national-round ties, but he will be suspended for this one.
The Roar are also scoring freely, with 12 goals in their three matches, taking out A-Leagues teams Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers in the process.
Brisbane defeated Western Sydney 4-2 in the quarter-finals, as Carlo Armiento, Thomas Waddingham, Joe Caletti and Henry Hore all scored.
Henry Hore and Waddingham now have goals in back-to-back matches as they continue to look to curry favour with coach Ross Aloisi ahead of the new ALM season.
Sydney United 58 managed to pull off an upset in the 2023 Cup semi-finals against the Roar, and Melbourne Knights will want to do the same on Sunday.