Central Coast Mariners make history as Kuol secures AFC Cup

Central Coast Mariners have become the first Australian club to win the AFC Cup, Mark Jackson's side triumphing 1-0 over Lebanon's Al-Ahed to claim the trophy in the Sultan Qaboos Stadium in Muscat.

Substitute Alou Kuol scored six minutes from time to seal a famous victory for Mark Jackson's side in the Asian Football Confederation's second-tier tournament. The competition is in its final year before the region's club tournaments undergo a significant revamp.

"I'm very happy for the win and to secure the trophy for Australia and for my club," Kuol, who was introduced off the bench in the 64th minute, said. "[Jackson] said to give the boys energy and to work hard, work for the team and we got the reward for it."

After more than 100,000 km of travels and 13 matches, Mariners skipper Danny Vukovic was delighted to lift the trophy.

"So happy to win the AFC Cup," he said. "A big thank you to our opponents, Al-Ahed - they were amazing. Tough conditions, but we got the job done.

"And a big thank you to our supporters, they travelled all the way from Australia to support us -- so a big shout out to our supporters."

A tense game looked to be heading for extra time when Kuol latched onto Ronald Barcellos' through ball to slip his shot between the legs of Al-Ahed goalkeeper Mostafa Matar to score.

Victory came days after Central Coast clinched their first A-League Premiers' Plate in a decade with victory over Adelaide United. There will be no time for Jackson's side to rest: they face Sydney FC on Friday in the semifinals as they look to defend their A-League Championship from last year.

Mariners became the second Australian club to win a continental trophy, following in the footsteps of Western Sydney Wanderers who lifted the Asian Champions League in 2014.

The AFC Cup will be scrapped as the confederation reconfigures club competitions across the continent, with the Asian Champions League Elite, Asian Champions League 2 and Asian Challenge League starting later in the year.