Australia Cup Quarter Final Preview: Brisbane v Wanderers

The Western Sydney Wanderers will be aiming to reach the Semi Finals of the Australia Cup for just the third time when they travel to take on Brisbane Roar at Perry Park on Saturday.

The Wanderers will go into the match full of confidence, as they have arguably been the most impressive side in the competition so far with two big victories.

The first came in Perth against NPL WA side Floreat Athena, where debutant Lachlan Brook scored a staggering five goals on debut as the Wanderers tore the semi-pro side apart in a 6-1 victory.

They then proved that result wasn’t a fluke in their Round of 16 match, as they put Adelaide United to the sword 5-1 at Marconi Stadium in front of 2,490 fans.

The scoring started early as Marcus Antonsson scored his first goal for the club in the second minute – he along with Brandon Borrello would bag a double – whilst Milos Ninkovic also scored his first goal for the club in the second half.

It was a fantastic performance and result, highlighting the high tempo pressing style coach Marko Rudan is attempting to implement in the side this season; of particular encouragement is the way forwards Borrello and Antonsson are combining after just two games together, with fans hoping the pair can produce a similar performance in the quarter-final as well as the A-League Men’s season.

Youngster Alex Bonetig was also impressive at the heart of defence, and there is a good chance the 21-year-old could start again at centre back against the Roar.

It will be an interesting test against a Brisbane side undergoing much change on and off the pitch.

With new faces in the boardroom, they also have a new face in the dugout as Ross Aloisi has joined the club as coach in the offseason, after previously being an assistant coach at the club between 2015-2019.

He has strengthened the side in midfield with the key capture of French midfielder Florin Berenguer, who was an impressive performer for Melbourne City over the past three seasons, and he will form a strong connection with Jay O’Shea in the middle of the park.

The Roar were disappointing in the last A-League Men’s season, sacking Warren Moon mid-season and finishing eighth on the table, five points outside the finals places.

They also had the worst attack in the league, scoring 26 goals in 26 games; on the other hand, their defence was impressive as it was the second strongest behind the Wanderers’ rearguard.

Despite Brisbane’s struggles, they managed to hold the Wanderers to a draw in both meetings between the sides last season, with Brisbane coming from behind to secure a 1-1 draw on each occasion.

Their journey to the Quarter Finals of the Australia Cup saw them overcome the Newcastle Jets in extra-time in the Round of 32, before comfortably defeating NPL NSW side Sydney United in the Round of 16 with a 5-0 win, gaining revenge on the side that eliminated them in the Semi Finals of the 2022 competition.

18-year-old Thomas Waddingham scored his first goal for the club in that match, and the fearless youngster will be one to watch for the Wanderers defence at Perry Park.

The two sides have met 37 times before, with the Roar edging the head-to-head record with 13 wins to the Wanderers 12.

The teams have also met four times in the A-League Men’s finals series, most notably in the 2014 Grand Final, and the 2016 preliminary final, where the Wanderers overturned a 3-0 deficit to win 5-4 after extra time.

The teams have met once before in the Australia Cup back in 2015, where the Wanderers secured a narrow 1-0 win in the Round of 32.

2023 Australia Cup Quarter Final
Brisbane Roar FC vs Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Saturday 16th September 2023, 5:30pm
Perry Park