Heartbroken Ryan lost for words

Heartbroken Central Coast Mariners gloveman Matthew Ryan said winning the award for best on ground in Sunday's Hyundai A-League Grand Final does not make up for losing what looked an unloseable game.

Heartbroken Central Coast Mariners gloveman Matthew Ryan said winning the award for best on ground in Sunday's Hyundai A-League Grand Final does not make up for losing what looked an unloseable game.

The Joe Marston Medalist accepted the plaudit after a sensational game in goal for the Mariners, and he managed to keep the all-conquering Roar at bay for all but three minutes of a match that will go down as one of the most memorable in Australian domestic football history.

The medal came barely a week after accepting the award for the best young player in Australia, stepping into the Mariners' goal after Jess Van Strattan was ruled out for the season with injury and he showed maturity beyond his tender years - both in the season proper and Sunday's match.

But a distraught Ryan was in no mood to talk about individual awards after Brisbane plucked an unbelievable comeback out of nowhere to stun a Central Coast outfit who were more than comfortable with their 2-0 lead.

"I can't explain the feeling me and the boys are feeling at the moment. It's just heartbreaking," Ryan said.

"We held them for a whole 117 minutes and then to not concentrate for three minutes there at the end and let them back into it with the last kick of the game, literally, they equalized ... It was disappointing on my behalf as a keeper going into that situation with the shootout. We deserved a whole lot better tonight."

Ryan, earmarked by many as a potential future Socceroo, said he was assured heading into the dreaded spot-kick lottery and even picked the right direction in which to dive - but it just wasn't to be for the Mariners.

"I was quietly confident and keepers like to back themselves in that situation. Credit to Theoklitos, he pulled off two great saves and he was unlucky there with another one," Ryan said.

"I seemed to guess the way their penalties went but it was just side netting and it's a harsh way to end a grand final."

One positive that Ryan and the Mariners can draw from the loss was the performance of 18-year-old striking sensation Bernie Ibini-Isei, whose energy and exuberance turned the match on its head when he was introduced in the 89th minute.

A long-time friend of Ibini-Isei, Ryan said he had the 'game of his life' and that he has a long career to look forward to.

"I've been good mates with Bernie now for a long time and I knew what he's capable of. I've been playing with him since I was 12 years old and he showed tonight when he came on that he changed the game," Ryan said.

"He set up two goals and had a couple of chances himself, forcing Michael Theoklitos into a couple of great saves. He definitely changed the game for us but it's disappointing we didn't go on and win it. Bernie had the game of his life coming off the bench."