Substitute Billy Mehmet scored a stunning late header to seal a 1-0 win for Perth Glory in their opening match of the A-League season against champions Brisbane Roar at Patersons Stadium today.
Mehmet was left out of the starting line-up for a game billed as a "grand final rematch" but provided the game's defining contribution in the 89th minute.
Left cooling his heels on the bench until the 85th minute, Mehmet wasted no time sending a message to coach Ian Ferguson with a thumping header to earn maximum points for Glory.
The move had been started by Travis Dodd before the timely cross of Scott Jamieson was met by Mehmet, who steered the ball into the corner of the net after squeezing between defenders Matt Smith and Matthew Jurman.
It was a win to savour for Glory, who had felt robbed after last season's grand final loss to Roar.
Understandably, the build-up to today's game had centred on Roar striker Besart Berisha, whose theatrics in last season's grand final brought him condemnation from Glory and made him a hero among Brisbane fans.
Berisha, who won and scored the winning penalty at Suncorp Stadium less than six months ago, was booed by plenty of the 14,085 home fans, some of whom had also unfurled several banners indicating their displeasure with the Albanian.
And it did not take long before Berisha was getting under the skin of the home side, his tumble to the turf after a tackle from Jacob Burns prompting a head-to-head between Glory midfielder Liam Miller and Roar's Mitch Nichols.
Miller had been the man adjudged to have fouled Berisha in last season's crucial grand final moment and Nichols was unhappy with the former Republic of Ireland's late challenge on the sprawling Roar striker.
Berisha eventually made his way into referee Ben Williams' note book after a tussle with Glory defender Dean Heffernan in first half stoppage time.
Chances were few and far between in the first half, although Roar keeper Michael Theo had to deal with Steven McGarry's early shot and later kept hold of Dodd's effort.
Glory striker Shane Smeltz appealed for an early penalty when Matt Smith tried to make a challenge from behind in the box but Williams saw nothing wrong with the tackle.
Smeltz then appeared set to open the scoring in the 14th minute when he seized on Erik Paartalu's back pass but Matthew Jurman reacted quickly to snuff out the threat.
Brisbane's best first-half opportunities fell to Nick Fitzgerald, whose fierce shot was palmed away by Danny Vukovic, and Paartalu, whose header was wide of the target.
Glory defender Josh Risdon was first to threaten after the break but Heffernan was unable to reach the cross from the right just six minutes after the restart.
Roar's German import Thomas Broich tried his luck with an 81st-minute free-kick but after Vukovic parried the shot, Bas van den Brink was on hand to clear.Brisbane refused to lie down after Mehmet's late goal but Ben Halloran's stoppage-time shot cannoned off the cross bar and Do Dong-Hyun was booked for diving in the box.