Fiercest of rivals go after title No.4
HISTORY is on the line but Melbourne Victory won’t be driven by the chance to be the A-League’s greatest team when they confront Brisbane Roar in today’s semi- final.
The AAMI Park match pits two three-time winners of the competition against each other and will give one a shot to become the first with four championships.
Kevin Muscat has been involved in each of those titles – two as Victory’s captain and one as a coach.
He said Victory’s squad was motivated by a pre-season pledge to win a title that would justify the talent he assembled for this campaign.
“We made a commitment at the start of the season as a group that we wanted to achieve something,” he said.
“Once you’ve made a commitment, the motivation side of things doesn’t really come into consideration.
“If we start worrying about two weeks time, what will it mean, who gets their name etched in history and whatever it may be, we’ll miss some details. (Making history) gives me no motivation whatsoever.
“The focus is clearly on five past five on Sunday evening. We’ll be prepared, ready to go, and we’ll put a performance good enough to take us through.”
Victory and Brisbane have shared plenty of heavyweight battles over the years. The Roar have knocked Muscat’s side out of the finals in two of the last finals campaigns, either side of their 2015 title.
Roar coach John Aloisi said the furious rivalry was fuelled by history and ambition.
“The feeling’s there because we’ve got two clubs that have been very successful ... the most successful teams in the history of the A-League and two teams that try to play an exciting brand of football,” Aloisi said.