You are here

A-League 2010-2011 Grand Final

An extraordinary, "you couldn't have scripted it" match, with the best team all season somehow coming back from 2-0 down with minutes to go in extra time and win on penalties.

For some reason we had a trial match kicking off around the same time as the final. Not a good idea. Anyway, when we finished it was 0-0 after about 75 minutes. We headed for the pub and I listened on the car radio to the tension as Brisbane just couldn't force a winner in the final couple of minutes.

We arrived at the pub in time for extra time. The long deadlock was finally broken when the Central Coast scored. Could they finally win a final? Then the incredible, they scored again. 2-0 and their fans were going mad. Some Roar fans started to leave during the second half of extra time.

Everyone's talking about how you can't write Brisbane off, but no-one can see how they can get back into it. Then with just three minutes to go, they get their break: 1-2. It's still gone for all money, but now they have hope. The clock ticks down. Their goalkeeper has the ball. With great discipline, he doesn't boot it downfield, but sticks to the Roar plan and they play it out from the back. Wonderful. And then the moment that will be talked about for ages. They win a corner (but was it a foul just beforehand?) and score with the last kick (well, header) of extra time. The crowd is going absolutely mad. It's unbelievable.

Central Coast are doomed you feel. They had their hands on the toilet seat at 2-0. Now it's 2-2 and the momentum is all Brisbane. The great drama of the penalty shoot out plays out and Brisbane win 4-2 on the back of two saves.

On the news that night and all the next day, everyone is talking about the amazing escape. It's great for football. The positives were: an enthralling match played in great spirit with mostly attacking football; a massive crowd of 50K at the best football stadium in the country; and a deserved, if unlikely, result.

You've got to feel for Central Coast. They must be absolutely gutted. But this is the wonder and the risk of sport. You put yourself out there for the chance at glory. But only one team can win. Brisbane took all the glory. And the Coast are left with nothing. It will be interesting to see if they can come back from this next year.

Let's hope the great match doesn't distract the FFA from fixing the problems of the league. It's going well, but there's much more to be done. The Fury are gone after just two seasons and no-one seems to be taking responsibility for either incorrectly giving them a license or killing them off too early. It has to be one of these, doesn't it? The Roar have financial problems - how can this be when they've been so successful? The Phoenix might also be in trouble. We couldn't get a team in Western Sydney going for heaven's sakes. There's seven, yes seven, months until the next season kicks off. How are you supposed to build on this season? Everyone will have forgotten the final by then.

Oh well, a great game that showcased all that is good about football.