A-League Grand Final

Picture: Nathan Richter/couriermail.com.au
Brisbane are reigning A-League champions. Picture: Nathan Richter/couriermail.com.au
Brisbane Roar  will go into the A-League grand final against Perth Glory  on Sunday confident of winning a second consecutive title following their penalty shootout win over the Central Coast Mariners in last year’s decider. A 3-2  defeat of that opponent in the second leg of the major semi-final was enough to earn the Roar last weekend off going into this match, although they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Ulsan Hyundai in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Despite suffering from illness, Besart Berisha  took his place in the starting XI for that match and isn’t expected to be in any doubt for the decider.

Perth have been a revelation in recent weeks, having come through three matches in the finals series just to get to the grand final. They recorded a 3-0  win over Melbourne Heart in the 2nd elimination final before a thrilling 3-2 victory over Wellington in the minor semi-final and then defeated the Mariners on penalties in last week’s grand final qualifier. Glory’s attackers have been in great form at the back end of the season, with Shane Smeltz  having collected eight goals in his past four games.

These clubs have already met on three occasions this season, with Brisbane recording 4-0  and 3-0  wins on either side of a thrilling 3-3 draw  at nib Stadium.

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