Once again Brisbane Roar have kept fans honest before sealing a last minute 2-1 A-League grand final win over Western Sydney at Suncorp Stadium.
Everything went to script for Brisbane in the A-League grand final against Western Sydney at a sold out Suncorp Stadium – much to the Roar faithful’s anxiety.
For the third time in four seasons, Brisbane claimed the A-League championship on Sunday night.
And for the third time in four seasons, the Roar left it until the last moment.
Brisbane may have become the A-League’s most successful club by sealing a come-from-behind extra-time 2-1 grand final victory against the Wanderers.
But they are also the most nerve-wracking.
Four minutes before full-time Western Sydney dared to dream of a maiden title in just their second season when they led 1-0 thanks to Matthew Spiranovic’s 56th minute header.
However, history repeated as a header by Besart Berisha (86th minute) forced the decider into extra-time before super sub Henrique (108th) slapped home the match-winner from point blank range off a James Donachie cross.
Coincidentally Henrique scored first as Brisbane reeled in a 2-0 extra-time deficit to down Central Coast on penalties and claim their maiden title in 2011.
And Melbourne Victory-bound Berisha stood tall in the 2012 decider, sealing a last gasp controversial penalty that iced Brisbane’s come-from-behind 2-1 triumph over a disgruntled Perth Glory.
Their fans may have been made to suffer before the last minute win on Sunday night but Roar captain Matt Smith reckoned it was business as usual.
“Our fans know now not to leave. They should have known from the first time,” Smith laughed.
“And now we are now the most successful team in A-League history – that is something to savour.”
Smith could not hide his respect for Berisha who will take up a $1.5 million, two-year deal with the Victory from next season.
“What a way to finish (for the club),” Smith laughed.
“He has been a great servant of this club. He has been one of the heroes of this club.”
But asked about life after Berisha, Smith said: “I don’t think we have to step up, we are proven.
“The club will have to do what they have to do and look at recruitment for next year but for now we will enjoy this moment.”
And it seemed next season’s plan was simple – even without Berisha.
“To win it again,” Smith said.
“And we want a good run in Asia (Champions League) and keep improving (next season).”