Soccer-Macarthur's strong away form has Milicic in bullish mood

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(Reuters) - Macarthur FC head coach Ante Milicic is confident his side's strong away record will hold them in good stead as they prepare to take on Melbourne City in the semi-finals of the A-League playoffs.

Milicic led the club to the last four of the postseason competition with a 2-0 extra-time win over Central Coast Mariners on Saturday, despite playing 45 minutes with 10 men.

James Meredith was sent off in the 75th minute but the A-League newcomers prevailed through goals from Charles M'Mombwa and Michael Ruhs, setting up Sunday's meeting with a Melbourne City side who finished top of table during the regular season.

"We're the best away team in the competition," said Milicic, whose side have won eight of their 14 away games this season.

"I said to the players during the week, in a one-off game against any opposition I'd back these boys.

"There's a lot of quality in there, there's a lot of belief and in big games we have big players here at Macarthur and they stood up today."

Despite being in their first season, Milicic has not been surprised by the success of Macarthur, who will be on their travels again for the game against Melbourne City.

"This was a massive game for our football club in our inaugural year and I always thought that we had it in us," he said.

"The owners have invested a lot of time and money and effort, as too have the boys.

"We're alive for another week, we deserve to be where we are."

Adelaide United beat Brisbane Roar 2-1 on Sunday to claim their place in the other semi-final where they will face Sydney FC, who are chasing a third consecutive A-League title.

(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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