Jackson guides Central Coast Mariners to AFC Cup final

The former MK Dons boss and Leeds United coach is on course to do the double in Australia

Mark Jackson is on course for a remarkable first season in charge of Central Coast Mariners after guiding the Australian side to the final of the AFC Cup.

Mariners secured their spot in the final after a comprehensive 3-0 win over Abdish Ata-Kant of Kyrgyzstan, with all three goals coming in the final 13 minutes, two courtesy of teenager Miguel Di Pizio.

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The AFC Cup is played primarily among clubs from nations that did not receive direct qualifying slots to the top-tier AFC Champions League.

The ex-MK Dons manager, who this time last year was overseeing the side’s relegation to League Two, took over the Australian side in September as they sought to retain their A-League title.

After sharing a 1-1 draw in the opening leg of the semi-final, Mariners brushed aside Abdish Ata-Kant earlier today (Wednesday) to book their spot in the final against Lebanese side Al Ahed on Sunday May 5.

The side from New South Wales are also still in the hunt to retain their A-League title, sitting just a point behind Wellington Phoenix - featuring former Dons defender Scott Wootton - with a game in hand.

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