Roar A Champion Team – Ange

Any other result would have been an injustice. Brisbane Roar are worthy champions of Australian football.
The team that has dominated all season fittingly won last night’s memorable grand final, but not before receiving an almighty scare from the Central Coast Mariners.
Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou says his side showed the characteristics of a champion team to come from two goals down late to win Sunday’s A-League Grand Final on penalties.
Having admitted before the match that they had been second-best all season and had played their grand final a week earlier in beating Gold Coast United to qualify for the decider, the Mariners played the role of the underdog to perfection – almost.
Two goals up with three minutes of extra time remaining, the Mariners must have thought they were about to break their run of grand final outs, having twice previously lost deciders since the inception of the competition five years ago. Even Roar midfielder Erik Paartalu admitted he had given up hope.
But this Brisbane team has something special.
It’s a core reason why they have lost once in 33 matches, last night’s final included, in the greatest campaign in the history of Australian football.
If Paartalu had given up, he must have been revived by Henrique’s 117th-minute goal.
Then it was time for Paartalu himself to fittingly stand tall, with his last-gasp header sending the 50,000-strong crowd crazy.
There was only ever going to be one winner after that, despite the 50-50 nature of penalty shootouts.
Fittingly, Paartalu and Henrique took decisive spot kicks, with goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos – a grand final specialist – playing his part with two great saves.
One of the reasons Theoklitos was brought to the Roar by coach Ange Postecoglou – another grand final freak with five wins from as many attempts as a player and coach in the NSL and now the A-League – was to establish a winning culture at the Roar.
Having won two grand finals and two titles with Melbourne Victory, Theoklitos was not about to settle for second-best with the Roar. And neither was Postecoglou.