Flashback: When Muscat belted Kosmina

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Following Guillermo Amor’s contentious dismissal against Perth Glory on Friday, The Football Sack looks back at one of the A-League’s most infamous incidents.

Early in the 2006/2007 season Melbourne Victory was flying high. They met Adelaide United in round 7 having won every game up to that point in the season. In the opening round they beat the Reds 2-0 at Olympic Park.

Bitter rivals already, the clash was always going to be a fiery affair. With the scores locked at 0-0 for most of the game, Adelaide midfielder Greg Owens ripped the tie open with an 83rd minute goal.

Victory’s winning streak was on the precipice and the urgency was aggravated by the fact that it was about to come to an end at the hands of original enemy Adelaide United.

With two minutes left on the clock the ball dribbled out for a throw-in and rolled into Adelaide coach John Kosmina’s technical area, coming to rest under his seat. Victory captain Kevin Muscat sprinted over to retrieve it and in doing so appeared to barrage Kosmina with his hip as he bent over to retrieve the ball from under his chair.

Kosmina, having been sent flying, then jumped to his feet and grabbed Muscat by the throat. His hand was then joined by that of Adelaide assistant Aurelio Vidmar. Muscat, under siege from the hands of the United coaching staff, threw in a few choice words before referee Matthew Breeze stormed over to break things up.

Out came the yellow card, but for whom? It was Muscat in the book and seemingly that was that. But when the cameras turned away, Kosmina was banished to the sidelines. Off he sulked as the partisan crowd hollered its thoughts in his direction.

In the space of a minute, the Melbourne Victory – Adelaide United rivalry went up a gear not yet seen in the A-League.

Those at the game won’t forget the scuffle; it personified the league’s greatest rivalry.

After the game Kosmina told Fox Sports that Muscat’s actions weren’t appropriate in top-level football.

“I don’t like being assaulted,” Kosmina said.
“I went to pick the ball up and got cleaned up for no apparent reason. He’s not supposed to come into our technical area.

Meanwhile Muscat played down the incident, saying he was just trying to get the ball.

“We were 1-0 down, I was trying to get the ball and I slipped,” Muscat said.

“I had a laugh with him afterwards – no problem.”

Adelaide won the tie 1-0, and gave steroids to the league’s original derby. The incident still sits in the mind of every Victory and United fan.

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