Both teams came into the final in good form, the Wanderers undefeated in 13 games and the Mariners having won their past 4 A-League games in a row. The sides had previously met three times over the course of the season, with each team winning one match as well as one draw.
In their inaugural season, Wanderers performed strongly. Mixed early results were followed by a streak of 12 undefeated games, including a run of 10 wins in a row, which saw the side top the regular season table, winning the A-League premiership. In the semi-final, the Wanderers beat Brisbane Roar 2-0, scoring a goal in each half to qualify for the grand final.
Entering the season as reigning A-League premiers, the Mariners had a strong season, highlighted by the fact that they lost only one match at their home ground, Bluetongue Stadium- against the Wanderers. After finishing second in the regular season, the Mariners played Melbourne Victory in the semi-final, winning 1-0 through a Daniel McBreen goal and so qualifying for the final.
The top six teams from the 2012-13 season qualified for the finals series, with the top two receiving byes into the semi-finals.
The first clear-cut chance of the match came when Trent Sainsbury played a ball over the top for Mile Sterjovski. Sterjovski got in behind the defence and chipped over Wanderers' 'keeper Ante Covic, only for his shot to hit the crossbar and bounce out for a goal kick. Shortly before half-time, the Mariners took the lead. Michael McGlinchey's corner found Patrick Zwaanswijk at the near post, whose powerful header put the Mariners ahead going into half-time.
Soon after play resumed, both Shinji Ono and Sterjovski had attempts on goal from attacking positions for their respective sides, but neither was able to put their shot on target. Midway through the half, the Mariners were awarded a penalty. It came after Daniel McBreen retrieved a ball deep inside the penalty area and cut back the bouncing ball, only for it to hit the arm of Jerome Polenz, leading Peter Green to award a penalty. From the resultant penalty, McBreen sent Covic the wrong way, powering his shot into the top left corner and giving the Mariners a two goal advantage which they retained until the final whistle.