Defending A-League champion Brisbane Roar is five unbeaten games shy of breaking a 74-year Australian cross-code football record for an undefeated team streak.
Roar heads into Friday night's clash against Adelaide United having not lost in its last 31 games, with only the legendary Eastern Suburbs rugby league team of 1935-37 with a better record across Australia's four football codes of football, AFL, rugby union and rugby league.
Eastern Suburbs went unbeaten in 35 games between June 25, 1935 and April 23, 1938 and won three premierships in 1935, 1936 and 1937 during its golden streak.
Having eclipsed the undefeated streaks held by an NSL club (22 games by Apia Leichhardt in 1986-1987) and a VFL/AFL side (23 games by Geelong in 1952-1953), Roar will claim the outright record if it remains unbeaten after its round-eight clash with Perth Glory at Suncorp Stadium on November 26.
Brisbane, though, is a long way behind Italian Serie A superpower AC Milan, who went 58 matches unbeaten in 1991-1993 and English Premier League heavyweight Arsenal with its 49-game streak in 2003-2004.
Meanwhile, Roar coach Ange Postecoglou has said his side’s defensive duties will be just as important as its well-documented attacking prowess against Adelaide.
“Both are equally as good but I think often our attacking play gets highlighted and our defensive work doesn’t,” he said.
“We work really hard as a team defensively to deny the opposition and it’s not just denying goals but last year, I think we had the least amount of shots on target against us in the league.
“Some of that came from our dominance in an attacking sense but it also comes down to the fact we work really hard defensively.
“We don’t carry any passengers in the team and we also have I think the best goalkeeper in the country [Michael Theoklitis].”
The Reds have netted just twice in its opening three fixtures with just three points to show for its efforts, but its strike power should not be underestimated with a side that includes former Roar stars Sergio van Dijk and Dario Vidosic.
Postecoglou did, however, predict a strong battle having lost 3-0 to Rini Coolen’s men in a pre-season fixture in September.
“I think everyone had them as favourites at the start of the season,” the former South Melbourne man said.
“They’re a good side … but they’re finding their feet with a lot of new players.
“It’s a pretty tight comp, even though they’ve had a couple of losses, it could’ve gone the other way.
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