For the second straight week and his second A-League grand final, Besart Berisha duly delivered for the Brisbane Roar.
Besart Berisha made a mid-season pact with his Brisbane Roar coach that he would depart the club with a second A-League championship.
On Sunday night, the A-League’s most combustible player duly delivered by providing the fireworks for their thrilling 2-1 grand final triumph at Suncorp Stadium.
It was a fairytale farewell for the Melbourne Victory-bound Berisha who gave the desperate Roar and their home crowd the crucial late equaliser from an 86th-minute header.
The Albanian international was crying tears of joy after Brazilian super-sub Henrique scored the extra-time match-winner.
“I was so glad that I could bring the club back into the game,” Berisha said.
“I had three years in Brisbane and I have won three trophies – two grand finals and a premier’s plate – and for me it is really special to leave this way.
“Queensland welcomed me with open arms and they really cared for me and not to finish this way would have been catastrophic.”
Roar coach Mike Mulvey revealed after the comeback win that Berisha promised to fight to the last second of his contract after signing a $1.5 million deal over two seasons with the Victory.
“When he told me he was leaving we had a pact we wanted to win the grand final and he was going to be part of that,” Mulvey said. “It’s sad to see him leave but he is leaving with one of them (a championship medal).”
The triumph brought back vivid memories of the Roar’s previous grand final when the fiery striker gained the equaliser against Perth Glory in the 85th minute of the 2011-12 decider.
Although he also scored the controversial match-winner from the penalty spot back then for a memorable double, Berisha admitted his second grand final was the sweetest.
“The first one was amazing but to finish like this is fantastic,” he said.
“This club gave me a lot of love and I always tried with my heart to give it back.
“I tried everything. I got cramps, I got pains everywhere, and in the end I was so glad.”