As Brisbane Roar striker Besart Berisha slotted home his penalty in the dying seconds of the grand final against Perth Glory to seal the clubs historic win a million arguments over beers in pubs all-round Australia erupted and it is because of this that I feel that this final was one that the A-League had to have.
In football terms this game wasn’t a classic. Brisbane looked tired and struggled to get in to their stride against a stubborn Perth Glory who had come to spoil the party at Suncorp Stadium. The team from Australia’s West had brought almost 2000 fans with them on the long journey and never once did they look like the heavy underdogs that many people were pinning them as. In fact it was they that looked the most hungry with Liam Miller and Captain Jacob Burns in particular putting in outstanding shifts for their side.
So when Roar defender Ivan Franjic put the ball in to the back of his own net it looked as though a real giant killing could be on the cards. But the Roar stuck at their task and two goals in the last ten minutes from Berisha sealed the home side’s 2-1 win. But apart from the lack of any real quality football the match had everything that you could ask for with 50,000 plus supporters being taken on roller coaster ride through every emotion in the book. You could see it written all over their faces as the camera scanned the ground and picked out parents with their kids biting their nails, jumping with joy and almost kicking every ball with their side as a tense first 80 mins turned in to one of total controversy.
Should Berisha have been given the spot kick in the first place? Probably not, although his air swing and subsequent fall to the turf should not be seen as a dive. And the point has even been raised as to whether the striker could have been called for off-side just moments before the decision was given. But that is just my point the game has started people talking about the sport and the amazing things that it can throw up and not the money side of things and Clive Palmer.
A rivalry between Brisbane and Perth has now been formed as fans head to twitter and facebook to abuse each other in a way that only football fans seem to be able to do and get away with and Besart Berisha has cemented himself as the man that everybody loves to hate. On top of all this the game just happened to make history with Roar coach Ange Postecoglou becoming the first coach in the A-League era to win back to back titles. For the neutral it was all amazingly positive stuff and I hope to see more over it when next season kicks off.