Brisbane Roar have become the first team in A-League history to win back-to-back premierships rising from the dead for the second year running.
But their win over Perth Glory was controversial when referee Jarred Gillet awarded Besart Berisha a late penalty, and that proved the winning kick.
Stan Uzunov reports.
Dubbed orange Sunday two, Grand Final day once again provided drama and jubilation for Roar fans.
A year on from their come-from-behind win over Central Coast, Brisbane once again celebrated late heroics, Berisha scoring twice to overturn an earlier own goal by Ivan Franjic.
The morning after, and Roar’s win has begun sinking in for the players.
Matt Smith, Roar Captain: “It’s pretty special what happened yesterday and it’s great to be part of history on a different angle.”
But a cloud of controversy hangs over their title defence.
Much of the hype surrounds referee Jarred Gillet’s decision in the seventh minute of stoppage time.
He gave Roar a penalty after Berisha, under pressure from Perth’s Liam Miller, seemed to air-swing a shot before crashing to the ground.
Besart Berisha, Roar Striker: “Of course they talk about that it wasn’t a penalty, but it was a penalty, it was a touch.”
The win handed coach Ange Postecoglou his fourth domestic title, making him the most successful at elite level in Australia. But yesterday’s game might be his last in charge of Roar in the A-League, as he is expected to accept a lucrative offer to coach Melbourne Victory next season.
But He remains hesitant to confirm his future.
Ange Postecoglou, Roar Coach: “I’m really enjoying being the coach of the championship winning side and you know, I know it’s hard for people to understand but I haven’t though about anything else than just trying to make sure we won this thing yesterday.”
For now, the Roar will indulge in celebrations, before returning to the field in a bit over a week for their Asian Champions League trip to Tokyo.
Stan Uzunov, QUT News