Monday, April 23rd, 2012
“I just saw again some pictures this morning and you can see clearly the touch from the Perth player and I lost my balance. It was clearly a penalty. I never made a penalty during the season. I do not do that. You can see the touch from the defender and then I lost my balance. I am very happy the referee gives the penalty. If not for sure I would have hit the ball if I had not been out of my balance. This is the way it is in football. It is not easy to lose. I understand Perth is upset.” – Besart Berisha.
Talk about dramatic. Brisbane Roar secured their second successive A-League title on Sunday becoming the first side to achieve such a feat, but their late victory over Perth Glory leaves a bitter taste in the mouth for soccer fans in Australia.
Brisbane pegged back Perth with just six minutes remaining as Albanian striker Besart Berisha grabbed another goal to level up an own goal from Ivan Franjic.
After Perth Glory had gone down to ten men, Brisbane pushed for the winner and it duly came with the last kick of the A-League season.
Berisha entered the area, had a shot blocked and then took a tumble which was completely bought by referee Jared Gillett. The decision looks hopeless on the replays and the fact Berisha celebrated the penalty decision wildly will also be hard for many to take.
Unperturbed by the controversy, Berisha slotted home the winner and secured the A-League title. As would be expected Perth have had plenty to say in the aftermath of their 2-1 Grand Final defeat.
Captain Jacob Burns: “I feel we were robbed without a doubt. The decision cost us the grand final. It was suspect and a knee-jerk reaction. Those sort of decisions cost you cups, it killed us and a wonderful game. I knew straight away it wasn’t a penalty, it was as plain as day, you knew by Berisha’s reaction. He knows, he told us it wasn’t a penalty.”
And Glory coach Ian Ferguson added: “I thought it was an air swing and he’s given a penalty. There’s not much you can do. You can’t take back time now.”
UPDATE: Thanks to Dave in the comments who has sent in a slow motion angle on the penalty decision to add to the discussion.