Central Coast Mariners vs Odisha: Preview and Prediction

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Roy Krishna will be keen to make an impact in Australia again

It will be a historic night in Indian Football as Odisha take on the Central Coast Mariners at the Industree Group Stadium in Gosford, Australia on Thursday from 1:30 PM IST as the first leg of the AFC Cup Inter-Zonal semi-final kicks off.

The Mariners made it to the semi-final in extraordinary fashion, as they beat fellow A-League side Macarthur in extra time in the ASEAN Zonal Final. Unlike Odisha, they played 2 extra games before making it to this stage. 

The Central Coast Mariners advanced from Group G with 4 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss, sealing qualification to the ASEAN Zonal semi-final on the final day with a 3-0 win against Stallions Laguna. Ryan Edmondson bagged a hat-trick in the semi-final against Phnom Penh Crown which led them to the clash against Macarthur. 

Odisha’s run has been a thrilling one as well, as the Juggernauts lose their opening two games in the intercontinental competition to fellow Indian side Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Bangladeshi side Basundhara Kings. 

However, Sergio Lobera’s men did not lose hope and made it to the knockouts by winning 4 games on the trot in the AFC Cup and crowning themselves as the South Zone champions.

Current Form

Heading into this fixture, the home side definitely have momentum on their end. They are currently ranked 2nd in the A-League and have won 5 successive games on the bounce. The two-time A-League champions currently trail league leaders and current Odisha forward Roy Krishna’s former team Wellington Phoenix by just 3 points in their league. 

The Mariners scored 21 goals in their group games – the highest in their group and they also bagged 6 goals in their two knockout games in the AFC Cup so far.

On the other hand, Odisha heads to Australia with a damning 2-1 loss away to Chennaiyin in the Indian Super League as goals from Ankit Mukherjee and Jordan Murray proved to be too much. 

It was only their third loss in the league season, and they still head the table with 35 points from 18 games. In their last AFC Cup game in December, Ahmed Jahouh scored the winner against Basundhara Kings to secure their qualification to the next phase.

Players To Watch Out For

The two sides will be facing each other for the first time ever in their history and there is no doubt that all the players will be keen to rise to the occasion. For the Mariners, forward Angel Torres will be the main man to keep your eyes on. He has bagged 11 goals in the A-League already and even found the net in their last AFC Cup clash as well. 

Utility player Josh Nisbet, who is also the shortest player in the A-League will be another big threat upfront for the home side, as he has 6 assists to his name so far in the A-League as well. They are extremely efficient in transition, so manager Sergio Lobera and his men will need to be extremely weary when they lose possession.

For Odisha, Roy Krishna is the leading goalscorer for the Kalinga Warriors in the league with 12 strikes to his name, while defender Mourtada Fall is the top scorer in the AFC Cup with 4 goals to his credit. 

Containing Nisbet will be key to winning the game for Odisha

Being able to tame Nisbet and Torres will probably be the key to winning this tussle, which is why Jahouh and Puitea will need to be on their toes throughout the 90 minutes and deal with the duo flawlessly.

Team News

For Central Coast Mariners, left-back Noah Smith continues to remain unavailable due to injury. There is no other report of injuries as of now from the Aussie side.

Odisha will have its full squad available as things currently stand. It boils down to whom Lobera picks depending on how they perform in training.

Predicted Starting XIs

Central Coast Mariners (4-4-2): Danny Vukovic; Storm Roux, Dan Hall, Brian Kaltack, Jacob Farell; Mikael Doka, Max Balard, Bradley Tapp, Angel Torres; Josh Nisbet, Jing Reec.

Odisha (4-2-3-1): Amrinder Singh; Amey Ranawade, Mourtada Fall, Carlos Delgado, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Puitea, Ahmed Jahouh; Roy Krishna, Cy Goddard, Isak Vanlalruatfela; Diego Mauricio.


It will be a monumental challenge for Odisha in Australia, but given how they went from despair to delight in the group stage one should never make the mistake of underestimating Roy Krishna and co. 

All eyes will also be on Cy Goddard, who will look to impress against his former team as well so one can expect a hard-fought game that does justice to the occasion.