New name, same magic: Australia Cup continues to captivate

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The Australia Cup, previously named the FFA Cup, is once again taking centre stage ahead of the new A-League Men (ALM) season and making the most of its time in the spotlight.

A competition grounded by local club culture and propelled by underdog triumphs, the Australia Cup is the complete package on and off the pitch.

Australian football, or Australia soccer as some may call it, remains a code crying out for the unification that cup competitions alone can bring right now.

The convergence of local clubs and A-League sides provides a temporary 90-minute respite where off-field concerns are quickly forgotten.

The 2022 campaign so far has been no different as the ‘magic of the cup’ remains strong despite the new name.

Significantly, this year will see a National Premier League club reach the semi-finals again after Peninsula Power and Sydney United were drawn against each other in the quarter-finals.

While in itself not unusual to see an NPL team make it so far, last year did lack such a fairytale run and it lost some of its charm as a result.

No NPL club has played in an Australia Cup/FFA Cup final to date and just the idea of one doing so in 2022 gives the competition an extra layer of intrigue.

Sydney United loom as real contenders to make it such history having knocked out reigning ALM champions Western United in the last round.

Unlike the A-League Men, the Australia Cup remains beautifully unpredictable. With the best clubs still dusting off the pre-season cobwebs, every other side has a real chance of causing an upset.

In the round of 16, Avondale and Adelaide City both took ALM opposition to penalties as they savoured 120 minutes in the spotlight.

Oakleigh Cannons will play Sydney FC in the quarter-finals and shouldn’t be underestimated either by the Sky Blues.

And if we can’t get an underdog champion in 2022, there is another almost just as alluring possibility.

Wellington Phoenix are still alive in the competition, eyeing their first appearance in the final and the irony of a New Zealand club winning the Australia Cup would be truly magical.

Feature image credit: Football NSW

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