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Jan 15, 2012

A-League melee set to liven up next clash

Sydney FC marquee men Brett Emerton and Nicky Carle hope the post-match melee after Saturday's thrilling A-League loss to Brisbane builds into a long-standing rivalry between both clubs.

The incident between Roar striker Besart Berisha and Sky Blues defender Pascal Bosschaart erupted with players from both teams getting involved after the Roar staged a miraculous late comeback to beat Sydney 2-1 in extra time.

And while Emerton won't comment on what started the heated exchange, he feels it might serve to liven up their next encounter.

"I'm not sure exactly what was spoken between the boys that were involved ... so I won't comment on it," Emerton said.

"Obviously, Pascal was provoked at the end of the game and, as you would, you want to stick up for your other team-mates.

"But I think it's going to make for an exciting game next time we meet them."

Former Blackburn skipper Emerton would have experienced some of football's biggest grudge matches in the English Premier League and hopes to see similar tug-of-war style clashes in the A-League.

"I think rivalries in football are a very healthy thing," Emerton said.

"As with Melbourne and Adelaide there's rivalry there and I think there'll be rivalry now between Sydney and Brisbane. I welcome it.

"But we must remember the A-League is still a very young competition so it's going to take time for those rivalries to evolve and I'm sure they will, as they are starting to already."

Carle feels there was nothing in the incident to warrant any disciplinary action from Football Federation Australia's match review panel, who will hand down their verdict after looking into the matter on Monday.

He echoes Emerton's thoughts that it will add an extra element to the next clash and says it could develop into what Roar coach Ange Postecoglou insinuated could be football's answer to the State of Origin.

For the Sky Blues to meet the Roar again, however, they will need to make the finals series.

Local hero Emerton returns to where it all began on Wednesday when Sydney FC play their rescheduled community-round clash against Perth at Campbelltown Stadium, in what is shaping up as a season-defining match.

Looking to snatch a top-two spot only a fortnight ago, the Sky Blues have slipped to seventh on the ladder after four straight loses.

"Rivalry is always good, everyone would say that," Carle said.

"If we come up against them hopefully in the finals, obviously there'll be rivalry there.

"There were a few things said after the game but there was nothing much to it.

"Nothing ended up happening, there were no punches thrown.

"But we're really concentrating on the next game. It's all forgotten.

"The only thing about that night was the disappointing loss and we want to make it right on Wednesday. It's a must-win game."

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