With Allianz Stadium to undergo a pitch replacement, Sydney FC have announced they will take on last season's A-League runners-up at ANZ Stadium
|By SACHA PISANI
In a league first, Sydney FC have announced they will host 2011-12 Hyundai A-League grand finalists Perth Glory at ANZ Stadium on October 28.
The two-time A-League champions were scheduled to play Perth Glory at regular home stadium Allianz Stadium in Week 4, but a scheduled pitch replacement means the match has been moved to the 84,000-seater stadium.
Chief executive Tony Pignata, who has returned home from Italy after securing the signing of Italian legend Alessando Del Piero, said there were options to stage the game elsewhere but believes ANZ Stadium was the best choice.
"Sydney FC has members and fans from all over Sydney and this match is a great opportunity for those who live in Sydney's west to watch Alessandro Del Piero, Brett Emerton and the rest of the Sydney FC team at ANZ Stadium," he said.
"Allianz Stadium is unavailable due to the annual turf replacement. We have had tremendous interest from a lot of venues from all over the greater Sydney area and we are happy to play at ANZ Stadium."
Australia secured qualification for the 2006 World Cup with a memorable penalty shoot-out victory over Uruguay at ANZ stadium seven years ago.
And Socceroos utility Brett Emerton is looking forward to reliving some of those memories on October 28.
"I'm a Sydney boy and I've enjoyed playing my football back in my home town with Sydney FC," the 33-year-old said.
"Sydney FC represents all of Sydney and last year we played matches in Kogarah and Campbelltown and now we have the opportunity to play at ANZ Stadium.
"ANZ Stadium has a lot of very fond memories for me, particularly the World Cup qualifier in 2005, and it will be great to play there again in front of a big Sydney crowd for Sydney FC."
Sydney have staged two previous exhibitions at ANZ Stadium, including their 5-3 victory against David Beckham's LA Galaxy, which attracted an Australian football club-record match crowd of 80,295 in November 2007.