Brisbane coach Mike Mulvey says the “unjust” send-off of striker Besart Berisha galvanised his side before they clinched a 2-1 A-League win over the Heart.
Watching an inconsolable Besart Berisha slump to his knees after yet another red card before trudging off the field in tears is hard to forget.
But Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey hopes his side will be remembered for what happened next at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Star striker Berisha looks set to spend another game on the sidelines after receiving a record third red card for the A-League season for sliding into Melbourne Heart ‘keeper Tando Velaphi’s face in the 49th minute.
However, Mulvey hoped his 10-man side’s reaction to the “unjust” send-off would not be forgotten after their rousing 2-1 defeat that ended the Heart’s mathematical A-League finals chances.
“You have to take your hats off to the players and recognise that the send-off galvanised them,” Mulvey said.
“We felt it was unjust and we reacted accordingly. I can’t give them enough credit.
“Let’s focus on what the boys did for the rest of the game.”
Still, Mulvey could not hide his frustration over Berisha receiving his marching orders, hinting that officials were targeting the fiery Albanian international.
He even suggested the red card could be withdrawn once the incident was reviewed by officials.
Berisha did appear unlucky to be marched after replays showed his boots rolled off the ball before crashing into Velaphi as they both slid into the contest.
“I think it was the wrong decision. It is like flavour of the month at the moment – ‘Look there’s Bes let’s give him a red card’,” Mulvey said.
“If there was no intention to hurt the man then it’s no send off.”
Berisha was a mess after referee Chris Beath’s verdict, dropping on all fours before leaving the field sobbing openly.
He looks set to miss their next round away clash with second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers who are 13 points adrift of the Roar but with a game in hand.
Berisha – bound for Melbourne Victory next season – had only just returned from his send-off in Brisbane’s 1-1 draw with Sydney FC on March 14.
Heart coach John van ‘t Schip also had a bone to pick with officials.
He had no idea why they weren’t awarded a penalty in the first minute when Aziz Behich – who opened the scoring in the 18th – was brought down in the penalty area by Liam Miller.
Mulvey admitted the Roar – whose win was sealed by Henrique’s 73rd minute goal – had “got out of jail” against the second-last Heart.