Brisbane into a third Grand Final

(Matt Roberts/Getty Images AsiaPac)

(Matt Roberts/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Brisbane Roar 1 (Berisha)
Melbourne Victory 0
28,503 @ Lang Park, Brisbane

Brisbane:
Theo, Franjic, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Miller, Brattan, McKay, Petratos, Broich, Berisha.
Substitutions: Henrique for Petratos (79’), Lustica for Miller (90’)
Unused Substitutes: Acton, Donachie, Solórzano.
Yellow Cards: Miller.
Red Cards: Nil

Melbourne:
Coe, Geria, Ansell, Contreras, Traore, Milligan, Broxham, Finkler, Troisi, Thompson, Barbarouses.
Substitutions: Mahazi for Broxham (69’), Nabbout for Contreras (83’)
Unused Substitutes: Thomas, Murnane, Jeggo.
Yellow Cards: Traore, Broxham.
Red Cards: Nil.

It was tight, it was tense, but ultimately Brisbane Roar are through to their third Grand Final in four seasons next Sunday against Western Sydney Wanderers thanks to a strike from Besart Berisha. A lot of the focus going into the game was surrounding the Albanian, with some fearing his commitment to the cause. I think he more than answered those critics yesterday, not just with the goal, but also his all around play.

The game itself wasn’t a classic with few chances for either team throughout the 90 minutes, although Brisbane controlled large periods of the game both in terms of possession and territory. Melbourne meanwhile were more of a threat on the counter attack, albeit more so late in the game as they desperately pushed for an equaliser- more on all that late drama in a moment.

Brisbane’s only goal of the afternoon came down the left hand side when Berisha exploited space in the vacant RB position for the Victory. The finish itself was probably a tad lucky and Coe will probably be unhappy at being beaten on his near post, nevertheless the ball went into the net and that’s all that really matters.

Victory came home strong with a late push and most people I’ve spoken to believe that the visitors should have been awarded a penalty as the clock ticked over into stoppage time after Smith appeared to clip Milligan. I have to say I thought it was a penalty. From there they went even closer still with a combination of Matt McKay and Theo scrambling the ball clear from right on the goal line as Victory surged forward looking for an equaliser.

Stats:
Screenshot_2014-4-28 15.31.24

Up next:
Orange Sunday 3! Next Sunday against Western Sydney Wanderers in the seasons showpiece game. Kick-off is set down for 4.00pm with tickets on sale for members today, and the general public Wednesday. More on the build-up to the final throughout the week.

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