An emotional Brendon Santalab said a red card to the Wanderers cruelled their chances after an epic Elimination Final shootout loss to Brisbane Roar on Friday night at Suncorp.
After the two teams were locked 1-1, the hosts eventually prevailed 6-5 on penalties to progress to next weekend’s semi final in Melbourne, where they will face Victory.
Wanderers' Jaushua Sotirio was red-carded in the 103rd minute to heap pressure on the visitors.
“I’m heartbroken,” Santalab, clearly emotional, told Fox Sports after the game.
“The red card didn’t help us.
“It was a very courageous effort when you put it into perspective with ten men and the boys were dropping down in the last few minutes.”
Santalab didn’t take part in the shootout after coming off late in the game.
“I started cramping up in the in the last few minutes of extra time. It was probably a wise move to take me off.
“But that’s the way it goes, anyone could’ve scored, anyone could’ve missed.
“A brave season [for Wanderers]. We didn’t really start well but we made it to this but unlucky…
“[Coach Tony Popovic] will be very proud of us for what we did tonight. Like I said the red card really killed it for us and took a lot of energy out of us.
“But I’m sure he’ll be proud but obviously heartbroken and very disappointed at the same time.
“Congratulations to Brisbane Roar,” he added.