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Jan, 9, 2008

Sydney on verge of A-League history

Sydney FC can become the first A-League road warriors with at least a draw to the Queensland Roar in Brisbane on Sunday.

The Sky Blues would be the first team in the A-League's three-year history to complete a regular season unbeaten on the road if they don't lose to the Roar this weekend.

Sydney has won five and drawn four of their nine road games this season, which has propelled them to one point from top spot on the A-League table.

The rare feat of a team not losing away in the regular season has been achieved five times across the three other football codes in modern times.

Two teams in the NRL, one in the AFL and two in the Super Rugby tournament have not lost away during regular competition.

Essendon, the only AFL side to be undefeated on the road in a season since West Coast joined the competition in 1987, recorded 11 away wins before winning the AFL flag in 2000.

In the Super 12 both sides unbeaten away went on to win the title.

Auckland Blues won four of their five road matches with a 40-all draw in Pretoria, South Africa in 1997 while the Canterbury Crusaders won all five away games in their perfect year of 2002.

However, success from home has not guaranteed end of season honours in rugby league since Brisbane joined the competition in 1988.

South Sydney and Manly both failed in the pressure of the finals after completing undefeated seasons on the road.

The Rabbitohs won their 11 away matches in 1989 but missed the grand final while Manly triumphed in their 11 road games in 1995 before losing the grand final, 17-4, to the Canterbury Bulldogs.

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