Mariners win final homeground advantage - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mariners win final homeground advantage

12/05/2005 02:41:28 PM Comments (0)

The Central Coast Mariners will have the homeground advantage for Sunday's FIFA Club World Championship qualifying final against Sydney FC after soccer's governing body moved the game from Adelaide.

The final of the week-long tournament, which will determine which club represents Australia at the potentially lucrative Oceania qualifiers in Tahiti later in the month, was pre-booked to be played at Adelaide's Hindmarsh Stadium.

But after local side Adelaide United were dumped from the competition in a 4-0 loss to the Mariners and Sydney defeated Perth Glory 2-1 on Wednesday night, Football Federation Australia (FFA) was left with a box office disaster.

The FFA announced the game would now be held at Gosford's Central Coast Stadium, where a much larger crowd was expected.

The venue change is a boost for the low-key Mariners, who have not had to travel at all during the tournament, and a blow to Sydney who face a four hour flight back from Perth.

"We felt that it was in the best interests of the game to take the final to New South Wales," said FFA Head of Operations Matt Carroll.

"The move gives the fans of the clubs a better chance to see the final which has a huge significance considering the prestige and potential financial windfall involved.

"The matches at Central Coast so far in the tournament have been successful and that venue deserves the chance to host the match."

The game kicks off at 3pm (AEST) on Sunday with tickets on sale from 9am Friday morning.

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