Perth Glory has won the Homeart NSL Championship Series Grand Final thanks to a golden-goal by Nick Mrdja against Parramatta Power at a rain-sodden Parramatta Stadium.
Perth Glory has won the Homeart National Soccer League Championship Series Grand Final thanks to a golden-goal by Nick Mrdja against Parramatta Power at a rain-sodden Parramatta Stadium.
After the scores had been locked at 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes, substitute Mrdja popped up to fire home from the edge of the area with his left foot with nine minutes of extra-time gone.
Although the match was never a classic, the conditions in Sydney were awful, with a downpour seeing water sitting on the pitch, preventing both teams from knocking the ball around on the ground.
Conditions improved however as time went on, and Mrdja?s 14th goal of the season separated the teams and gave Perth back to back titles in the last ever season of the NSL.
The first chance of the game had fallen to Damian Mori, after some good work by Bobby Despotovski, but Power goalkeeper Clint Bolton was able to block Mori?s flick from close range.
There was a scare for Perth?s Jason Petkovic when he dropped a cross, but he was able to flick the ball away from Ante Milicic, who ended up swinging at fresh air.
Although there were few clear-cut chances in the opening period, the standard of play, like the weather, improved.
Milicic, celebrating his 30th birthday, headed a fine Ahmad Elrich cross just wide, and then Mori somehow missed from just eight metres out, firing over with just the goalkeeper to beat.
There was controversy with 10 minutes remaining when Bolton appeared to bring down Mori outside the box, only for referee Mark Shield to wave play on.
Mori remained in the thick of the action, and should have sealed victory in the fifth minute of the golden goal period.
A slip by Peter Zorbas allowed Mori a clear sight of goal just 10m out, but the striker, with 225 NSL goals to his name, smashed the ball wide.
However Mori was involved in the winning goal, slipping the ball to Mrdja to send the travelling Perth fans into raptures.
Elrich won the Marston Medal as the man of the match in the last ever NSL game.
Parramatta Power 0 lost to Perth Glory 1 (Mrdja 99')