Empty spaces at Aussie set-piece
© Getty Images

The ninth edition of the A-League is just around the corner, and two of its seven founder members finalised their preparations for it with a friendly on Thursday.

The Melbourne Victory-Adelaide United match at AAMI Park was played behind closed doors, but fortunately cameramen were on hand to snap the hosts Gui Finkler taking a second-half corner, as seen above. 

It wasn’t a productive afternoon for the Brazilian and his Victory colleagues, though, with goals from Jeronimo Neumann and Tarek Elrich earning the team now coached by Josep Gombau, whose tutelage Lionel Messi was under in Barcelona’s youth ranks, to a 2-1 success.

Victorians and South Australians have forever been sporting rivals, and Victory and United have certainly taken that trend into soccer. The teams have met in two A-League Grand Finals, with Melbourne emerging triumphant from both: an Archie Thompson-inspired 6-0 thrashing in 2007 – one of the biggest wins in the competition’s history – preceding a Tom Pondeljak-indebted 1-0 success two years later.

And the sides haven’t got long to wait for their first encounter of 2013/14. After the Victory host Melbourne Heart and United visit Perth Glory later this week, the cross-border derby will unfold in Adelaide in Round 2.