Popovic helps referee save face

After being held to a scoreless draw with Adelaide United, Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic believes his side were denied a clear goal but won’t reveal what was said in a discussion with the referee.

Having dominated the first half, Western Sydney found the back of the net after a goal-mouth scramble in the 39th minute with Dimas appearing to poke home.

The goal was not given by the referee however with Lachlan Scott appearing to kick the ball out of United keeper Daniel Margush’s grasp and Popovic quick to vent his frustration with the decision to Kris Griffith-Jones on the pitch.

Having communicated with the referee after the incident, Popovic refused to reveal what was said with the inference being the reasoning was suspect.

“The referee told me something, it’s better I don’t say what he said for the reason it’s better for the officials I don’t say what he told me on why the goal wasn’t given,” he said.

With the game ending 0-0, Popovic was even more adamant post-game that the referee had made the wrong decision.

“It was a goal. There’s not much else you can say about that. It’s a legitimate goal and we find a way for it not to be a goal,” he said.

The coach clearly not happy with the treatment he and his team are receiving from the officials.

“It’s too many times… it’s every week,” he said.

“We really controlled the game, we created opportunities, scored a goal that was given which is amazing.”

While adamant in his view that a mistake was made, Popovic admitted he must address why his side weren’t able to score despite having 22 shots to Adelaide’s seven.

“We’ve got to have a look at our game and see what we can do better,” he said.

“We can’t control the officials, that’s not going to change.”

Young striker Lachlan Scott went agonisingly close to his second A-League goal on the night for the Wanderers with only a Ryan McGowan goal-line clearance denying him.

Popovic full of praise and sympathy for the 19-year-old who has shouldered the weight up front for Western Sydney this season.

“I feel for young Lachie because he did everything but score,” Popovic said.

“He had all our opportunities and the young kid deserved a goal. He was dejected when he came off but when he reflects and we have a chat he’ll realise he took a step forward in his game today.

“He’s a young boy with a bright future.”

The 0-0 draw leaves the Wanderers clinging to sixth spot with the side set for a ten day break from matches after playing four games in a fortnight.

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A football fanatic and journalism student who won't leave you wondering about any Wanderers news this season as I cover all things Red and Black for The Football Sack.