05/03/2024

Australia Cup Round of 16 kicks off this week. (Image: Green Gully FC - Twitter)

With the Round of 32 now in the books, the next phase of the Australia Cup continues this week with the Round of 16 kicking off.

Which sides are still alive and vying for a spot in the quarter-finals of the cup? Find out below!

Bentleigh Greens v Sydney FC

Bentleigh Greens have a tough task ahead of them when they host A-League outfit Sydney FC at the Kingston Heath Soccer Complex. With a giant killing yet to take place thus far in the cup, the Greens will be eager to scalp the Sky Blues this Wednesday night.

The Greens come into this fixture as the underdogs, though they have caused several upsets in the cup before, so they’d be coming into the clash with the belief a win is not beyond them. Ones to watch will be the attacking duo Ajak Riak and Pierce Waring with the duo combining for 13 goals in the NPL this season.

Its opponents Sydney scraped past Central Coast in the Round of 32 on penalties, and will look to put in a more dominant performance, with the club desperate to make amends for a disappointing 2021/22 campaign.

While Sydney hasn’t blooded too many youngsters in recent years, Patrick Yazbek and Adrian Segecic have shown signs of promise this offseason and will be ones to watch as they look to lock down a spot in the first team.

Giacomo Bruno

Modbury Jets v Macarthur FC

Macarthur FC will become the first A-League Men’s side to visit the newly-opened Service FM Stadium at the South Australian State Centre of Football. In their way stands Maurice Natale’s Modbury Jets, fresh off celebrating promotion back to South Australian football’s top tier.

The Bulls tore into the Magpie Crusaders in their last Australia Cup outing and will fancy their chances against the Jets. Modbury has quality sprinkled throughout its side that can trouble Macarthur, but it must be alert from the start.

Early lapses of concentration cost Modbury in the SA Federation Cup final and even led it to concede early to Armadale in its Australia Cup Round of 32 match. If you give players the quality of Daniel Arzani, Al Hassan Toure, and Daniel Da Silva an early opportunity, the match may be over before it even begins.

If the Jets can slow the Bulls’ charge early, Hamish and Liam McCabe’s almost telepathic connection or the high-scoring Cooper Wegener may only require one moment of brilliance to shock the highly fancied visitors.

Antonis Pagonis

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Sydney United 58 v Western United

Sydney United 58 will be hoping to keep their season alive for another matchday in the Australia Cup, as it will be the club’s only chance at silverware this season, after a 2-1 loss to NWS Spirit in the Waratah Cup final.

That task will only be made more difficult by the potential absence of Patrick Antelmi, who went down in the Cup final in the fourth minute with a hamstring injury.

If the hosts are to upset last season’s A-League Men’s champions, expect Christopher Payne and Kyle Cimenti to create problems for the Western United defence in Antelmi’s absence.

Danijel Nizic will also need to play a massive role in goal for the home side, and be at his best to stop the dynamic forward group of Western United.

For John Aloisi’s side, who knocked off last year’s Australia Cup winners Melbourne Victory in the Round of 32, they’ll be travelling to Western Sydney with one goal in mind. Win.

Despite being early in pre-season, a youthful squad showed what it’s capable of against Victory, and a repeat performance to extend the pre-season with competitive fixtures will be a must for a side looking to defend the A-League Men’s championship.

Steven Poletti

Peninsula Power v Green Gully SC

One of the more intriguing fixtures this week, one of the top sides in Queensland Peninsula Power will take one of the in-form sides of the Victorian NPL Green Gully.

The Power comes into the clash in good form, winning four of their past five cup fixtures and comfortably taking out the NWS Spirit 4-1 in their Round of 32 tie. One to keep an eye on will be Sam Cronin who is the heart of the Power’s attack. Brenton Fox and Malakai Love-Semira also threatening players will be ones the Gully will need to be wary of.

Green Gully come into their clash coming off a surprise loss to the Melbourne Knights, though before then were enjoying a run of three straight games. Currently sitting fourth on the Victorian NPL table, they too will make for formidable opponents.

Nahuel Bonada is a dangerous player and one the Power will be looking to shut out of the game, as is Luc Jeggo and former Melbourne Victory midfielder Josh Hope.

Giacomo Bruno

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