Brazilian substitute Henrique scored in the second period of extra-time to give Brisbane Roar their third Australian A-League championship in the Grand Final against Western Sydney Wanderers in Brisbane. Henrique broke the deadlock in the 108th minute to give Roar a come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Wanderers before 51,153 fans at Suncorp Stadium.
Wanderers, playing in their second grand final in only their second year of existence, looked on target to win the season decider following defender Matthew Spiranovic's headed goal in the 56th minute. But outgoing Albanian striker Besart Berisha scored the equaliser with four minutes of normal time left to send the final into extra time.
It was Berisha's final game for Roar before he joins A-League rivals Melbourne Victory next season and finishes his Brisbane goal with 48 goals in his three seasons. Henrique was left unmarked to fire home Brisbane's winner.
It was a fitting result as Brisbane Roar had finished the regular season ten points clear of Western Sydney and they will take their place in next year's AFC Champions League. Brisbane is now the most successful team in the A-League's nine-year history with their third championship in four years.
Western Sydney must now regroup for this week's second round of home and away Champions League games against J.League champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima, starting in Japan on Wednesday. It was also a losing final A-League game for Western Sydney's Japanese star Shinji Ono, who is returning to Japan to join Consadole Sapporo. Ono, who played 56 times for Japan and appeared in three FIFA World Cups™, has been feted by Wanderers' army of fans in his two seasons as the club's marquee player.