Victory, Adelaide rivalry still delivering

It is unquestionably one of the Isuzu UTE A-League’s best rivalries.

Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United have already showcased just why this season – ahead of meeting for the third time this campaign at AAMI Park on Saturday.

The meeting between the sides in Adelaide last month was action packed, Victory leaving the always hostile Coopers Stadium with a 2-1 win.

There were seven yellow cards and a red to Jason Davidson, and a Victory youngster stepping up with heroics – Nishan Velupillay putting away a Robbie Kruse cross for a 78th-minute winner.

It is a rivalry that has grown organically since the inception of the competition, and has shown few signs of letting up.

The fixture has always promised so much – and almost always delivered.

The Clubs played three finals in 2006/07, with James Robinson’s heroics in front of 47,413 people at the then-Telstra Dome unforgettable.

Just two weeks later, at the same venue, Archie Thompson’s five-goal haul inspired Victory’s 6-0 Grand Final drubbing of Adelaide.

And two seasons later, the same teams met in the Grand Final, with Victory edging a 1-0 win thanks to a Tom Pondeljak goal. Cristiano and Danny Allsopp were sent off in that game.

Such moments, and the fans, built the rivalry.

There have been some crazy matches between the teams since then, including Victory’s 4-3 win at AAMI Park in February 2014, and a 3-2 success in November that year, when all five goals were scored in a frantic opening 37 minutes.

Incredibly, there has been just one finals meeting between the Clubs since the 2009 Grand Final.

Unsurprisingly, even that was memorable, Victory coming from behind at AAMI Park in 2018, a win secured by Besart Berisha’s overhead kick in the 89th minute.

The Clubs again delivered in the FFA Cup on Wednesday as Victory – whose fans often travel in incredible numbers to Adelaide – recorded a come-from-behind 2-1 Quarter Final win.

Another special clash surely awaits, with Victory this time aiming to retain top spot on the Isuzu UTE A-League table.