Sydney FC’s emphatic win over Brisbane Roar ended a great week for the Sky Blues but has been overshadowed by a disgraceful spitting incident and more VAR indecision.

In the last eight days Sydney have played three games and have earned themselves six league points and a piece of silverware thanks to their FFA Cup final win on Tuesday.

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However the crescendo to Sydney’s opus was interrupted when Brisbane defender Avraam Papadopoulos was caught by the television cameras spitting on Sydney FC striker Matt Simon. Understandably upset by the incident, Simon retaliated and was shown to have raised his hands and pushed back at Papadopoulos. Upon a lengthy review by the VAR the referee sent both players off.

“I thought that at worst it was maybe a yellow,” said Sydney coach Graham Arnold referring to Simon’s dismissal.

“I said to Matt that I was disappointed that he handled it in that sort of way. Let the referee deal with it, let the VAR deal with it.”

Brisbane coach John Aloisi was equally disappointed with how the incident unfolded and offered his apologies on behalf of Brisbane Roar.

“As a club we don’t condone it. It’s not acceptable,” said Aloisi. “It’s very unlike Avraam, he’s a great guy. I haven’t spoken to him yet but I’m sure he’s sorry.”

Whether it was out of character or not, the FFA will likely come down hard on the former Greek international with the A-League refereeing guidelines suggesting an additional five games could be added to the mandatory one match ban for a red card. That will be tough news for Aloisi who is already struggling with a makeshift backline.

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“Connor O’Toole’s just had his third A-League start, Jacob Pepper isn’t a natural central defender and we’re still without Thomas Kristensen in the midfield,” said Aloisi.

“So we’re already having issues but we just have to get on with it.”

Somewhat comically the VAR failed to make a decision despite the incident being shown plainly on both of Allianz stadium’s giant screens. Instead the referee shuffled over to the sideline to get a worse look on his tiny screen, extending a delay that lasted almost five minutes. The crowd were audibly annoyed at the delay and the players could all be seen pointing at the screen. 

“Look we still don’t understand the VAR,” said Aloisi. “I don’t think anyone does. It’s going to take time for them themselves. It’s new for everyone.”

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Despite the ugly and drawn out incident there was no denying that Graham Arnold and his men were deserved winners on the night but the Sydney coach wasn’t resting on his laurels.

“The most important thing is that you create chances, but we’re not ruthless enough in front of goal,” said Arnold.

“Someone is going to cop a hiding one of these days.”

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Football fan, writer, and post-grad journalism student at the University of Technology Sydney. Joined the team in 2017 to cover Sydney FC and the Central Coast Mariners.