With 65 days until kick-off in the ninth edition of the Hyundai A-League we cast our eye over some classic matches that have had us on the edge of our seats.
With 65 days until kick-off in the ninth edition of the Hyundai A-League we cast our eye over some classic matches that have kept us captivated.
Hyundai A-League-s largest ever grand final victory: Melbourne Victory 6 - 0 Adelaide United 2007
With Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United finishing one and two in the Hyundai A-League's second season the 2006-07 decider was expected to be a somewhat tight affair.
The sides had met twice in the regular season with Melbourne getting the upper hand in rounds 1 (2-0) and 15 (3-1) while Adelaide claimed a 1-0 win in round 8.
They then clashed again in the semi-final with the home and away fixtures ending 2-1 in Victory's favour as they secured a spot in the decider.
Adelaide went on to knock off the Newcastle Jets on 4-3 on penalties in the preliminary final after the match ended in a 1-1 draw to make it through to their first grand final.
Having now met five times in the one season the two sides had developed one of the league's most intriguing rivalries that was punctuated earlier in the season by Adelaide coach John Kosmina and Victory stalwart Kevin Muscat's infamous confrontation on the sidelines. They now would get one last shot at each other on the final day of the season.
With a crowd of over 55,000 largely parochial Victory supporters in attendance at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium, local hero Archie Thompson got the scoring underway after a through-ball from Brazilian Fred set Thompson up with a one-on-one with Adelaide keeper Daniel Beltrame as he calmly finished in what was to be a sign of things to come.
It was a Fred cross that found Thompson in the box for his second goal and Adelaide's nightmare of a start was compounded further by captain Ross Aloisi getting sent off for a second yellow card in the 34th minute.
It was a first half hat-trick for Thompson as he received the ball from Muscat in the box and set up a commanding 3-0 Victory lead at the break.
As the rain began to fall, Thompson slotted home goals four and five in the 59th and 72nd minutes before coach Ernie Merrick took him off as the match went into injury time with the home-town hero receiving a standing ovation from his supporters in the stands.
To rub salt into Adelaide's wounds, Thompson's replacement Kristian Sarkies came on to finish the rout drilling a bullet into the top right corner of Beltrame's net to give the Victory the 6-0 win.
Archie's total of five goals, Fred's three assists and the six goal victory are all grand final records that are yet to be broken with most football pundits believing they will remain for many more.