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A-League's Best and Worst: Besart Berisha proves he is the man, Brisbane Roar's meek surrender

11:48 EAT 23/04/2018
Besart Berisha Melbourne Victory
When it became time for someone to stand up and be counted, one man came through with the goods once again

Cometh the moment, cometh Besart Berisha. The man who has scored in eight consecutive A-League finals.

He didn't have a particularly good game. He missed a chance he should have buried when teed up by Leroy George. He was likely getting substituted for Kenny Athiu with the game looking like it was going to extra time.

But when the moment presented itself, Berisha stood up with an incredible piece of skill to sink Adelaide United and earn his team a shot at the all-conquering Sydney FC.

Berisha's season has arguably been his worst in Victory colours, missing chances he would usually score and being caught offside - with the flag going up on Berisha a league-leading 32 times.

However only Sydney FC striker Bobo (19) has scored more goals minus penalties included, with Berisha and Sky Blue maestro Adrian Mierzejewski both striking 11 times from open play and free kicks.

With that statistic in mind, Berisha has had a reasonable season in front of goal, if not meeting the lofty standards he has set in previous campaigns.

You would definitely not put it past him scoring against the Sky Blues at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night to make in nine consecutive finals matches with a goal.

Berisha's post-season streak dates back to the winner he scored for Brisbane Roar against Melbourne Victory in the elimination final during the 2013-14 A-League finals.

Since that goal, he has scored in three grand finals and been a part of a team that's lifted the championship twice - with Roar in 2013-14 and Victory's 2014-15 triumph.

It's likely that Victory will need Berisha at his match-winning best to get over the line against Sydney FC and either Newcastle Jets or Melbourne City to clinch their fourth championship.

Over to you, Bes.

A disappointing exit for Brisbane Roar

Some critics say that it was an achievement for Brisbane Roar to just make the finals after their horrible start to the season and 'jersey gate' - which saw them crash out of the Asian Champions League playoff to Filipino side Ceres-Negros.

But their performance against Melbourne City was as abject as they come, surrending meekly except for a last-ditch charge in the final 15 minutes.

It must be noted the Roar were crippled with injuries, particularly the loss of attacking midfielder Brett Holman but also four central defenders in Jade North, Avraam Papadopoulos, Luke DeVere and Daniel Bowles.

However the endeavour they showed when they took it up to City in the final stages showed that the home side were vulnerable - and it needed to be present throughout the 90.

City's defence did feature Dutch monster Bart Schenkeveld, but his usual partner in crime Michael Jakobsen was absent, meaning the often error-prone Osama Malik deputised in the position.

Brisbane had the opportunity to make City uncomfortable - a team who has previously struggled in big finals - but instead in the first half they couldn't muster a shot, barely retained any possession and didn't create any dangerous chances on the break.

While there is great experience in an attacking four featuring Massimo Maccarone, Eric Bautheac, Henrique and Fahid Ben Khalfallah, the quartet were lacking significantly in speed, meaning when Roar were on the counter attack, City defenders ganged up with numbers and constantly won the ball back.

When Brisbane threw caution to the wind late on, City were rocking and it wasn't until Nick Fitzgerald's stoppage time header that their nerves subsided.

You wonder if Roar's attitude was more attacking and if Corey Gameiro was introduced sooner, whether a result was achievable against a team known for their fragility.