Source: The AFC
Source: The AFC
Soccer

Mariners crowned Kings of Asia 2024

Alou Kuol's Late Goal Secures Historic Victory for Central Coast Mariners in AFC Cup Final

In a historic moment for Australian football, Central Coast Mariners clinched the AFC Cup 2023/24 title with a narrow 1-0 victory over Lebanon’s Al Ahed FC at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex. Alou Kuol’s late strike proved decisive, propelling the Mariners to their first-ever continental trophy.

This victory marks a significant milestone for the Mariners, as they become only the second Australian club to win an AFC competition. Their achievement follows in the footsteps of Western Sydney Wanderers, who claimed the AFC Champions League™ title in their debut appearance a decade prior.

The final clash not only showcased the Mariners’ prowess but also marked the conclusion of the AFC Cup era. The tournament will transition to a new format next season, featuring the AFC Champions League Elite, AFC Champions League 2, and AFC Challenge League.

The match itself began with a cautious exchange, typical of continental finals. Al Ahed threatened first, with Mohammed Al Hallak delivering a dangerous cross to Lee Erwin, only to be denied by a spectacular save from Mariners’ goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.

Central Coast Mariners responded swiftly, with Josh Nisbet and Ryan Edmondson creating opportunities in the Al Ahed box. However, it was Alou Kuol who ultimately made the difference, capitalising on Ronald Barcellos’ through ball to secure victory for his team.

Despite a late surge from Al Ahed, the Mariners’ defence held firm, with Kuol’s goal proving to be the decisive moment in a tightly contested final. This triumph not only cements Central Coast Mariners’ place in Australian football history but also signals their emergence as a force to be reckoned with on the continental stage.

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A grand gran fan of fandom, wrestling, movies and music originally from Liverpool, England now living the easy life around Tasmania, Australia. An early internet culture guide, a pop culture reference'er, and a preferer of Tea over Coffee.
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