Barbarouses hails Theo's heroics
Brisbane Roar striker Kosta Barbarouses has sung the praises of teammate Michael Theoklitos after the resilient goalkeeper’s nerves of steel saw the club secure a 4-2 win on penalties in Sunday’s Grand Final.
Brisbane Roar striker Kosta Barbarouses has sung the praises of teammate Michael Theoklitos after the resilient goalkeeper-s nerves of steel saw the club secure a 4-2 win on penalties in Sunday-s Grand Final.
An Erik Paartalu header in the final 30 seconds of extra time after Henrique-s left-footed strike saw the Hyundai A-League decider sent to penalties for the second consecutive year and Barbarouses said the outcome could have been much different if it wasn-t for his goalkeeper.
Brisbane were faultless from the penalty spot with Ivan Franjic, Paartalu, Matt McKay and Henrique all finding the back of the net but the two top class saves from Theoklitos denied Mariners Daniel McBreen and Pedj Bojic to give Brisbane the win and ultimately, the championship.
“He-s an incredible guy, he-s the ultimate professional and he got what he deserved last night,” Barbarouses said of the former Melbourne Victory gloveman.
“All the credit he-s getting he deserves 100 per cent.
“He-s a leader in the group and he-s the only one of us who had been in a Grand Final before and that definitely showed last night.”
The triumphant result over Central Coast means Theoklitos is the first Hyundai A-League player to win three championships, after notching up two Grand Final wins during his time at Melbourne Victory.
Barbarouses himself only played the first 71 minutes of the fixture before being replaced by Henrique but said he didn-t lack any faith in his teammates when the prospect of a penalty shootout turned into reality.
“I got taken off before the drama happened and when we went 2-0 down, my head sort of sunk into my hands and I really didn-t think that was the way our season should end,” he said.
“We were pretty confident going into penalties, you could just tell the boys looked really confident and we did well, it was just amazing.”
On a personal level, Barbarouses was still in disbelief at being a Hyundai A-League champion just weeks after celebrating his 21st birthday but said he hoped this was only the beginning of a successful football dynasty in Brisbane.
“I didn-t think as a 21-year-old I-d win an A-League Grand Final,” he said.
“The way we-ve done it as well - 28 games unbeaten - it-s been a hell of a ride this year and I just want to keep on riding it.”