The 2012 A-League Grand Final will forever be remembered by what replays showed to be a blown call from referee Jarred Gillett. Both Perth Glory and football fans around the world were robbed of what could have been a rather exciting 30 minutes of play, as we'll now never know what might have been.
Brisbane Roar rallied to defeat Perth Glory 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday. A match recap and stat sheet can be found here.
3 thoughts on Brisbane Roar defeating Perth Glory in A-League Grand Final: Controversy
There's no point in discussing this match without first mentioning what will unquestionably go down as the most important decision of the season. Brisbane's Besart Berisha, who equalized the contest six minutes before stoppage time with a perfectly struck header, did well to get through four defenders while in the penalty area. He whiffed on his attempt on goal, however, a miss that caused him to slip and tumble to the ground. While I do believe Berisha simply lost his footing rather than taking a dive, replays showed that no contact from a Perth player caused the fall. Jarred Gillett immediately pointed to the spot, however, and Berisha buried what was to be the championship-winning penalty.
Perth fans have every right to feel robbed. While the Glory were down a man thanks to Dean Heffernan earning a second yellow card in stoppage time for an inexcusable and unnecessary challenge, the fact remains Gillett took the match outcome out of the hands of the players. Brisbane certainly would have been favorites to find the win in extra time. Nevertheless, Perth weren't even given a chance to pull off what would have been an impressive upset.
3 thoughts on Brisbane Roar defeating Perth Glory in A-League Grand Final: Shane Smeltz is tougher than you
The next time a critic of football/soccer tells you that the game is played by "wussies" who couldn't hack it in a real sport, tell them about Perth star Shane Smeltz. Smeltz had his nose busted by an unintentional elbow from Brisbane's Matt Smith just 15 minutes into the contest, a collision that left Smeltz on the ground with blood gushing from his face for several minutes. Smeltz was only sidelined for a few minutes, however, as he returned to the pitch with a bandage wrapped around his face. His return to the game is even more astonishing upon learning that he will require surgery to fix the injury.
3 thoughts on Brisbane Roar defeating Perth Glory in A-League Grand Final: Can't keep him down
Berisha made headlines for the incident that occurred in the final seconds of the match, but you have to give the Golden Boot winner credit for the goal that leveled the contest just six minutes from stoppage time. The Perth back line was heroic after the Glory took a 1-0 lead thanks to an own goal in the 51st minute, as goalkeeper Daniel Vukovic had no work to do throughout the second half. Berisha was always going to get at least one opportunity to produce some magic before the final whistle, and that's exactly what he did in the 84th minute. Thomas Broich delivered a beautiful cross into the penalty area, and Berisha nodded the ball in the only spot Vukovic could not reach. It was a deserved equalizer, and yet another highlight reel finish from the league's leading scorer.