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Jan 18, 2008

Moore backs same time final-round games

Former Socceroos captain Craig Moore would rather the A-League follow international convention and start all final-round matches in unison.

Moore's A-League leading Queensland hold the advantage of knowing what's required of them when they meet Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday night.

The Roar-Reds clash is the final game of round 21, hailed as the most important weekend in Australian domestic soccer history with four sides chasing the minor premiership.

With Queensland holding a superior goal difference, two better than next-best Sydney who play Melbourne directly before Sunday, the Roar are in the box seat.

Even though he admitted his club is advantaged by the A-League's staggered final round, Moore felt the Football Federation Australia should adopt the worldwide practice of kicking off each fixture at the same time.

"I think it should be and then everybody knows the situation and there's no advantages so to speak," the 32-year-old said.

"It turns into a cup game, we know we need to get a result to get a win and we'll know exactly how much we need to win by."

Central defender Moore is hoping the final round brings the same success for the Roar as it did for Rangers in 2002-03 when his Scottish club went into the last round equal with arch-rivals Celtic.

With both games played in unison and the teams tied on points and goal difference, Rangers thrashed Dunfermline 6-1 to win the league by one goal as Celtic thumped Kilmarnock 4-0.

Desperate to play on a dodgy groin to secure the minor premiership, Moore rates Sunday night's match among the biggest club games of his glittering career.

"I said to the boys that some players go right through their career without winning anything and we've got some young boys who have come up and have the chance of winning first time up," he said.

"The message is these opportunities don't present themselves a lot and when they do you must take the chance."

Adelaide coach Aurelio Vidmar lamented the fact the Reds had lost their tough and uncompromising aura this season.

"Everyone who came to Hindmarsh knew it was going to be a tough game, you weren't going to get an easy kick," he said.

"And we've failed in that regard, no question about that.

"Sometimes I feel like the opposition are rubbing their hands when they are coming to play us."

United are aiming to send veteran defender Richie Alagich a winner in his final game in the competition.