Sunday’s twilight grand final between Melbourne City and Sydney FC pits two teams with historically stark differences in their levels of success up against each other.
The Olyroos have continued on their path to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a 6-0 win over Taiwan in Cambodia.
Graham Arnold’s side belted the Asian minnows by the same score as they recorded on Friday night against Cambodia, managed by Melbourne Victory star Keisuke Honda.
But they know those results might count for nought if they don’t get a result on Tuesday night against heavyweights South Korea.
A curious qualifying system might cruel Australia’s hopes of taking a men’s football team to the Olympic Games for the first time in 12 years.
A win over South Korea would ensure the Olyroos head to the qualifying tournament next January, when 16 teams will fight for three Asian places, alongside hosts Japan, at the 2020 Games.
A draw or loss would leave the Olyroos second, with only the top four second-placed finishers from 11 qualifying groups booking a place at the follow-up tournament.
Courtesy of their 6-0 wins, Australia are assured a place with a draw against South Korea.
A loss would put them at the mercy of other results, despite the two earlier commanding wins.
Against Taiwan, Western Sydney’s Abraham Majok scored an early brace before Melbourne Victory’s Thomas Deng increased the margin before halftime.
Tass Mourdoukoutas and a Pierce Waring double rounded out the result.
South Korea’s 6-1 defeat of Cambodia puts them top of the group on goal difference.
The South Koreans are expected to be challenging opponents; they have spent weeks in camp together to try to qualify, an opportunity open to them as their domestic competition is not in season.
Arnold has called up the best players available to him – angering some A-League coaches – as he bids to qualify Australia for the Olympics for the first time since the 2008 Beijing Games.