No payback on Antonis for O’Neill despite ‘cut-throat’ Big Blue clash

Brandon O’Neill was left in the dust for one of the most iconic moments in Hyundai A-League history.

The sight of the Sydney FC midfielder forlornly chasing a runaway Terry Antonis in last season’s remarkable Semi-Final in Sydney is not an easy one to forget, let alone erase from the memory.

It is a piece of theatre that would give the 24-year-old good reason to hold a grudge against the Melbourne Victory man.

But O’Neill insists vengeance will not be on his mind when he returns to face Antonis in Sunday’s Big Blue – even despite the ‘cut-throat’ nature of the battle.

Not really [there’s no payback],” he said.

“Terry’s a good lad. I know Terry and he’s a good bloke.

“Terry’s a great fella, a funny fella, a good footballer and he’s doing very well. I wish him nothing but the best.”

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While Sydney and O’Neill may deny they are out to banish memories of their 3-2 defeat to Kevin Muscat’s side in the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Semi-Final, you don’t need to remind the Harbour City of the match's importance.

There are few matches on the league calendar capable of producing moments of such high drama or ferocity.

But this is exactly the kind of high-stakes encounter in which Sydney have established their recent Hyundai A-League dominance, and is the kind of contest O’Neill relishes.

“They’re always great to play in, them games, the bigger games, bigger crowds,” he continued.

“The rivalry is still there. The game itself is very similar to the Wanderers game, its high tempo, its cut-throat, there’s a lot of screaming, a lot of shouting, it’s great fun, if you’re a player you want to play in these sorts of games.

“I enjoy every minute of it and I know the lads do as well.”

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Brandon O'Neill