SYDNEY (AP) Central Coast’s reign as A-League football champions ended Saturday with a 2-0 semifinal loss to the Western Sydney Wanderers in a rematch of last year’s grand final.
Western Sydney reached the final last year in their debut season and repeated the feat in front of 20,000 fans at Sydney’s Parramatta Stadium, scoring goals through Youssouf Hersi and Iacopo La Rocca. The win came only three days after the Wanderers booked a spot in the knockout stages of the Asian Champions League with a 5-0 win over Guizhou Renhe.
Western Sydney will face the winner of the second semifinal between Brisbane and the Melbourne Victory.
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Hersi opened the scoring in the 31st minute, breaking the Mariners’ stacked defense, and La Rocca clinched the win in the 81st minute.