The national stage beckons for Canberra Croatia this week as they embark on their Australia Cup journey with a Round of 32 trip to western New South Wales and a date with destiny against NSW National Premier League outfit Mount Druitt Town Rangers.
This will be the second time that Croatia has made it to the Australia Cup national knockout rounds, and they will be aiming for better luck that their last appearance which resulted in a 4-1 home loss to a rampant Broadmeadow Magic in 2018 at Deakin Stadium.
In order to achieve that they will need to do what only one Capital Football representative team has done in the history of the Australia Cup, and that is to win an away game. Croatia will seek to follow in the footsteps of Tuggeranong United, penalty shoot-out winners in Tasmania over South Hobart back in 2014, the territory’s first foray in the Cup.
Form for the current cup holders, and reigning league champions, has been patch in 2023, the curse of the stoppage time goal hurting them hard as points were dropped in dramatic fashion against Tigers FC, and Gungahlin United at home, and Monaro Panthers, and O’Connor Knights away, whilst strikes in the last ten minutes saw another three points slip away against the Knights (away) and Gunners (home).
The cup has been a better source of return for the club, victories over Tigers FC, Monaro Panthers, Gungahlin United, and old rivals Canberra Olympic in the Final showing they have the big-match temperament required to succeed.
Mount Druitt have hardly been setting the world on fire themselves, having not won in nine matches, their last success their cup victory over Northbridge Bulls, and suffered a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of St. George City last time out.
The are currently fifteenth out of sixteen in their league having won only six of their twenty-six league matches this term. However, Cup football is a different beast of course and form generally goes out of the window when the cameras roll, and the whistle blows to begin the 2023 Australia Cup odyssey.
Friday 4 August
Australia Cup Round of 32
Mount Druitt Town Rangers v Canberra Croatia
(Popondetta Park, 19:30)