2018 Waratah Cup Preview

Football NSW

By Marcel Abboud

This Sunday sees Lambert Park hosting the 2018 edition of New South Wales’ premier knockout football competition, the TAFE NSW Waratah Cup. The 2018 final will see high flying APIA Leichardt Tigers FC who now sit on top of the NPL Men’s 1 table against Hakoah Sydney City East FC. This final is the exact same billing as the 2017 final, which saw Hakoah triumph 3 – 1 over the Tigers, lifting the cup for the 7th time in their history.

In their run to the final The Tigers entered the competition in the 4th round of the FFA Cup Qualifiers as they made light work Fraser Park from NPL 3 9 – 1 before travelling down south to take on Illawarra Premier League side Wollongong Olympic, defeating Olympic 4 – 0. In perhaps their first real challenge of the cup run, the tigers faced St George FC of NPL 2, narrowly defeating the saints 3 – 2 which then saw a showdown between fellow NPL 1 side Sydney Olympic for a berth in the FFA Cup round of 32 and the knockout stages of the Waratah Cup. The tigers showed their quality as they progressed through with a comfortable 3 – 0 over Olympic.

APIA lifting the cup in 2013

APIA then entered a one off knockout game against Rockdale City Suns to make the semi finals of the cup, winning a hard fought game 3 – 2 against the Rockdale based side. For a place in the final, the tigers faced Marconi stallions and once again showed their strength, putting three goals based the stallions to win 3 – 0.

Hakoah also entered the competition in the 4th round, defeating NPL3 side Bankstown City Lions 3 – 1 before also travelling down south to defeat fellow NPL 1 side Sutherland Sharks 2 – 0. Mounties Wanderers of the NPL 2 were next up, but Hakoah finished off the Mt Pritchard based side 2 – 0 before encountering the underdogs of the qualifiers, Tarrawanna Blues of the Illawarra Premier League. Hakoah showed their obvious difference in quality, finishing off the Blues 4 – 0.

Hakoah winning the cup last year

After not being drawn in the knockout round in the Waratah Cup, Hakoah met Bonnyrigg White Eagles who ironically are their round of 32 opponents in the FFA Cup, but swept the struggling White Eagles away 4 – 2 to secure a place in the final.

The final will be one that will surely produce goals for the crowd to remember, and if recent form is anything to go by, expect to see some quality football played by both sides with goals aplenty.
Tickets for the final are available at https://www.eventopia.co/event/2018-TAFE-Waratah-Cup-Final/367079

Hakoah Sydney City East FC v APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC @ Lambert Park
Saturday, July 14, 2018, 4:00PM


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