There was no shortage of talking points in a memorable A-League grand final orchestra expertly conducted by a German, an Albanian and a referee's contentious call
By Paddy Higgs at Suncorp Stadium
For some time, it appeared a day that was supposed to be billed as 'Orange Sunday' was destined to end in a purple haze.
Enter a sublimely talented German and an enigmatic Albanian - the latter of whom divided a crowd more than any contrasting team colours ever could - to drive the Brisbane Roar to a memorable 2-1 win and a history-making second A-League title in succession.
It was immediately clear on Sunday that the match was no mere mortal encounter.
The aforementioned Albanian, Besart Berisha, began the game at kick off by taking the ball deep into Perth's half, setting the benchmark for what would be a fiercely contested affair.
With the match honest rather than spectacular before its dramatic conclusion, Perth's high-pressing tactic appeared to have worked before Berisha headed a cross delivered by Thomas Broich - that sublimely talented German - past Danny Vukovic in the Glory goal on 84 minutes.
Roaring to victory | Broich and Berisha inspire Brisbane to glory
The first half had contained few chances and was perhaps most notable for Matt Smith's elbow accidentally catching Shane Smeltz on 15 minutes. The star striker, scorer of eight goals in four matches before the final, needed considerable attention to a badly split lip.
He returned a man bandage-dressed and possessed, chasing down every dead end and throwing himself with abandon. It was that sort of commitment that reflected a workmanlike first half, and it took Perth's goal in the 53rd minute to finally spark Brisbane into the sort of form the Glory had always feared.
Berisha's header was a testament to a memorable season, as was the negligible way in which he was awarded a penalty to score the match winner. There is no doubting the adulation for him in the eyes of the Brisbane support.
The ear-splitting roar that greeted both his goals was something those at home watching on television could not have fathomed. The roof, had there been one, would have lifted clear from its beams.
|"Berisha's header was a testament to a memorable season, as was the negligible way in which he was awarded penalty to score the match's winner. There is no doubting the adulation for him in the eyes of the Brisbane support"|
Broich, nicknamed 'Mozart' for his ability to conjure magic with the ball at his feet, urged the crowd to "make some magic" when he collected the Joe Marston Medal as the final's best player. That accolade was meant instead for Perth's brave captain Jacob Burns, but Broich's words were still apt.
In truth, both Roar supporters and players had been dancing deliriously since Queen's "We Are The Champions" rang out over Suncorp's PA system soon after Jarred Gillett's final whistle had brought an end to the match.
A funeral dirge would have been more appropriate for Perth Glory as they trudged off the pitch, having briefly held a champions' dream.