Perth Glory gained a small slice of grand final revenge with a 1-0 triumph over defending A-League premier Brisbane Roar at Patersons Stadium on Sunday.
Glory was left heartbroken in last season's decider when Roar striker Besart Berisha was awarded a controversial late penalty, with the Albanian coolly converting the chance to lift Brisbane to a 2-1 victory.
But it was Roar who had to endure some late pain this time around, with substitute Glory striker Billy Mehmet heading home in the 88th minute to give Perth the perfect start to the season.
Roar almost equalised at the death, but Ben Halloran's strike cannoned into the post.
Berisha was enemy No.1 throughout the match as a heaving pro-Glory crowd of 14,085 gave the 27-year-old the most hostile of receptions.
The Perth fans spared no expense in venting their fury over Berisha's grand final dive, with one support group organising a pre-match fly-over bearing the message: "Diving classes call 1300 Go Roar".
Glory players also sent out a thinly-veiled message to Berisha earlier in the week when they got out the boxing gloves at training in what they half-jokingly claimed was in preparation for the fiery Albanian.
There were chances galore in the first-half but neither side could find the back of the net.
Glory striker Shane Smeltz should have done better after intercepting a dreadful back pass from Roar midfielder Erik Paartalu in the 15th minute.
And Berisha fluffed a similar chance up the other end when Glory defender Bas van den Brink's weak back pass failed to find goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.
Tempers threatened to boil over in the 34th minute when Berisha fell to the ground after a tackle from Jacob Burns and Liam Miller put his knees into the back of the Roar striker.
Miller was shown a yellow card for the incident, but Berisha also found himself in the book on the stroke off half-time when he was involved in an altercation with Glory defender Dean Heffernan.
Vukovic pulled off a reflex save to deny a powerful 43rd-minute shot from Roar striker Nick Fitzgerald, and Roar enjoyed the better chances in the second-half.
But it was Perth who capitalised, with Mehmet - an 84th-minute inclusion - heading home a beautiful cross from new recruit Scott Jamieson.
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