Perth raced to a 2-0 lead through a Diego castro double, both goals featuring the Spanish maestro finding space on the wing and beating the Reds' fullback to sneak past Paul Izzo.

But Adelaide showed the kind of fight they've become famous for under Marco Kurz and struck back twice in the final two minutes, first through Baba Diawara's scramble then through (what seemed at the time) the unlikeliest of sources - a peach of a narrow drive from Ryan Kitto.

But it was far from over at 90 minutes. Scott Neville, the Perth old boy who, like so many, has continued to be valued under Popovic, scored his third A-League finals goal. Only to be outdone in similarly spectacular and unlikely fashion by Michael Marrone.

The 3-3 all result took the match to extra time, where two-goal Castro missed his penalty to give Adelaide the advantage, only for Isaias to miss as well - both the result of keen saves from their respective keepers.

They were the first of five consecutive misses. In the end, after it looked like it would never end, Joel Chianese - arguably the most underrated of all Perth's Grand Final side - finally won his moment in the spotlight.

"It brings to mind Perth and Wollongong Wolves in the old NSL," Reddy said.

"Goalkeepers can't take penalties? If it comes to it again, I'll take another one.

"It went to penalties, which wasn't what we wanted, but we're through to the Grand Final and that was the goal at the beginning of the season."

A heartbroken Paul Izzo was valiant in defeat.

"The boys out there gave it all," he said. "They did all the hard work and penalties are a lottery, so I've got to do my best.

"Unfortunately I couldn't do enough, we shouldn't be disappointed with ourselves. We've gone through a shit-ton this year."