Fiercest of ri­vals go af­ter ti­tle No.4

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT -

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.

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