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A-League grand final: Brisbane Roar leave it late to take title
It seems Brisbane Roar can’t win an A-League crown without a good dose of theatre. For the third time in as many attempts the Queenslanders required 11th hour $27k celine emerald green crocodile mini belt bag w top handle & shoulder strap intervention to salvage the game, before reclaiming their crown with an extra-time victory.
Besart Berisha found an equaliser four minutes from full time to cancel out Mathew Spiranovic’s opener, before substitute Henrique conjured a pivotal grand final goal for the second time in four years at a heaving Suncorp Stadium.
The Wanderers were undoubtedly starting to think of taking their place on the winners’ podium in just their second year of existence until Berisha intervened denying both their opponents, and 0 celine bag 17610 3xvh 01bc207ex the tabloid headline writers, a fairytale achievement.
It took Spiranovic’s goal just prior to the hour mark before Brisbane finally settled into the groove click celine, with Wanderers successfully nullifying their opponents in a way few others teams can do.
Perhaps tellingly, the Wanderers received six cautions against none for the home team.
The two teams’ philosophies were evident in the respective deep-lying midfielders, with the Roar fielding Luke Brattan who Ange Postecoglou once described “as the best passer of the ball in Australia”, while the Wanderers lined-up with two artful spoilers in the shape of Iacopo La Rocca and Matteo Poljak.
All three players who harboured injury concerns in the lead-up started, with Brisbane Roar fielding Liam Miller as well as western Sydney product Dimitrios Petratos, while the Wanderers included Mark Bridge.
Early goals have been a rarity in national league deciders, and the early stages were suitably tentative.
Brisbane, as was the case last week against Melbourne Victory, settled slowly. The Wanderers enjoyed a succession of corners, with coach Tony Popovic undoubtedly marking down such set-pieces as a way to unlock the defence. Indeed it was to be a portent of things to come.
It wasn’t until the 19-minute mark that either side enjoyed a shot on target with Shinji Ono’s tame effort reflective of a lack of incision from both teams.
Thomas Broich’s long-range effort nine minutes later finally was worthy of inclusion on the match highlights reel, with the German inches away from getting a shot inside Ante Covic’s right-hand post.
Midway through the half Brisbane finally started to piece together some passes in their opponents’ half but in truth the opening period was largely a disjointed affair.
It was perhaps instructive that the closest the deadlock came to being broken in the opening half was an over-hit ball from the flank which struck Covic’s crossbar.
The second period was altogether a different affair. Ono was suddenly probing menacingly while Berisha nearly produced a trademark moment with a surging run only for his shot to be blocked, while Franjic grazed the crossbar from distance.
But the all-important opening goal went the way of the Wanderers 11 minutes after the break. Spiranovic lost his marker, Broich, and adroitly turned in a near-post header from Ono’s corner.
The all-important opening goal was bad news for the neutrals with the Wanderers no doubt hoping to further implement their trademark suffocating style having taken the ascendency.
It was a perfect time to 0 celine 173823ska 18ccc score, but the Wanderers knew the challenge remained significant. The only team that had ever managed to win an A-League decider after $1350 celine red leather trio crossbody handbag conceding the opening goal $1450 new celine us 8 were Brisbane.
The Wanderers lost captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley to injury just past the hour mark, and in a sense it proved a dual blow with La Rocca forced back into central defence and substitute Aaron Mooy stepping into the midfield breach.
Broich and Berisha finally found their trademark combination only for the latter to be denied by a crucial block from goalscorer Spiranovic. Moments later Berisha missed a header at the back-post as Brisbane began to finally exert sustained pressure on the visitors.
Broich was looking the man most likely and the German flashed a shot narrowly wide, just as he did in the first half. Broich then provided an excellent opening which fell for Henrique but the Brazilian, perhaps showing $1490 celine classic riding boot tall flat equestrian bootie 38 black shoes 8 a lack of game time, blazed his snap shot over from near the penalty spot.
Franjic shot stung the palms of Covic, and the Wanderers somehow survived the ensuing corner as Matt Smith’s goalbound header was unwittingly blocked by team-mate Henrique.
The clock was Brisbane’s enemy but typically it was their star German-raised duo – Berisha and Broich – who combined to find an equaliser. Broich’s perfectly-flighted delivery was met with a glancing blow from Berisha’s forehead to leave the exposed Covic helpless as the ball crossed the line.
Brisbane though suffered a seemingly costly blow with Brattan forced off to be replaced by the less-influential James Donachie. The substitute, however, played his part in the pivotal moment of the contest by firing the ball across goal with Henrique crashing home the winner with 12 minutes remaining.
Victory for the home team gave Roar coach Mike Mulvey a title win in his first full season at the helm of an A-League club.
It also continued a remarkable run for Brisbane teams in national football competitions with the city now tallying 14 wins in 15 national league deciders across four sports.