Classic Matches - Roar's epic comeback

If ever was a team to be a dominant favourite in a season finale then it was to be the 2010-11 Brisbane Roar side.

If ever was a team to be a dominant favourite in a season finale then it was to be the 2010-11 Brisbane Roar side.

The Roar had cruised to the Premiers Plate, eight points clear of the Mariners, and scored the most goals and conceded the least throughout the regular season.

They then claimed a 2-0 away victory over the Mariners to set up a 4-2 aggregate major semi-final win that gave them the week off to recuperate before playing at home in front of over 50, 000 parochial Queenslanders in the grand final.

On the other hand the Mariners hadn-t had much luck against their northern foes in recent times, losing the first two of their regular season matches against the Roar (2-0 and 1-5) before drawing the last at home 3-3 to a Brisbane side reduced to 10 men.

However what they did come into the grand final with was the underdog tag and the hope they could catch a complacent Roar side napping.

Everything seemed to be set up perfectly for another stock standard 90 minutes of football where the Roar-s class came to the fore.

With an average of four goals between the sides throughout the year goals were expected from the outset but neither side could find the back of the net in the first half.

Mitch Nichols went close to opening the scoring for the favourites when he was denied by the crossbar from a Thomas Broich corner, while at the other end Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson-s shot was cleared off the line by Matt McKay.

The Roar began to pile on the pressure in the second half with Matthew Ryan-s skill in goals called on numerous times to prevent the home side from taking the advantage.

Erik Paartalu-s header from a corner was perhaps the Roar-s best chance but despite flying above the pack his attempt went just wide of the left hand upright.

With the game heading into the fifth minute of injury time when only four minutes had been added on, it appeared Bernie Ibini was put through to a one-on-one with Michael Theoklitos but referee Matthew Breeze had blown his whistle and sent the match to extra time.

Kwasnik scored the match-s opener in the 96th minute after Bernie Ibini flicked the ball on after a Mariners corner.

They doubled their advantage seven minutes later when a Roar turnover in the midfield saw the Mariners break away. Kwasnik then had his one-on-one with the Mariners keeper saved before regaining possession and setting up Bozanic to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead.

Just when the Mariners thought they were home, McKay sent a long ball deep into Central Coast-s half to find Solorzano who squared the ball for Broich to find Henrique who drilled the ball low past Ryan to give the Roar hope.

With a minute to go in the second half of extra time Brisbane earned a corner in what was to be their last roll of the dice.

Broich whipped the ball in to find Erik Paartalu who headed it home and sent the crowd into raptures and the match to penalties.

John Hutchinson (Mariners) and Ivan Franjic (Roar) both converted from the spot before Wilkinson and Paartalu followed suit. Daniel McBreen then had his shot saved by Theoklitos and Mckay gave his side a 3-2 advantage. Theoklitos was again the hero when he saved Pedj Bojic's shot.

Henrique then stepped up and put the ball past Ryan to give the Roar the victory and one of the biggest comebacks the Hyundai A-League has witnessed throughout its eight seasons.