Glory get early chance for revenge
Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory will square off in a rematch of the A-League grand final in the first round of the 2012-13 season
Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory will square off in a rematch of the A-League grand final in the first round of the 2012-13 season.
Roar hero Besart Berisha will undoubtedly receive a rough ride from the Subiaco Oval faithful still bristling at how he won the crucial penalty in Brisbane's 2-1 victory in April.
Glory skipper Jacob Burns who conceded the spot kick for his challenge on Berisha expressed his delight at the draw on Twitter.
"Can't wait for round 1 v roar at Patterson stadium! Should be another fierce battle & a little tasty," Burns said.
The season will kick off on Friday October 5 when last year's victorious coach Ange Postecoglou faces a derby in his first game in charge of Melbourne Victory against fellow new coach John Aloisi of the Heart at Docklands.
Postecoglou will then take his new side to visit his old team at Lang Park in what is certain to be an emotional occasion for the Victory coach and Roar fans alike.
Sydney fans will have to wait until week three for their inaugural derby as Sydney FC face their new Western Sydney rivals.
Western Sydney will meet fellow New South Wales outfit, the Central Coast Mariners, in its first A-League game.
The eighth A-League season will also see a new knockout finals format with the top two sides in the regular season now receiving first round byes in the finals.
Teams finishing from third to sixth do battle in the finals' first round to see who will travel to the top two in the semi-finals.
This system, similar to that used in the NFL, removes the 'double chance' aspect used in previous seasons.
Football Federation Australia CEO Ben Buckley explained the reasons for the change in the finals' structure.
"FFA wanted to reduce the repetitive nature of the previous system where in the past teams have played each other three times in the four week format," Buckley said.
"The decision to intensify the Finals Series lead to the removal of the preliminary final to replace it with two Semi-Final matches that will provide the platform for a highly energised and uncompromising cup style finals format and allow for a more challenging and thrilling 2013 Finals Series."
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