Another day, another action packed night of VAR talking points.

Should we expect anything else from the A-League?

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A colossal night for the Video Assistant Referee saw the man-operated machine play a role in three crucial plays at Coopers Stadium, where a Ryan Kitto brace saw the Reds earn a 2-0 triumph over the Wanderers.

The intriguing viewing began in the 19th minute as Baba Diawara’s goal-bound volley was diverted, Robbie Cornthwaite’s hand the culprit.

Chris Beath waved play on (to keep this story alive) before pausing at the next stoppage.

Home fans waited with baited breath. “Could Beathy possibly miss the Hand of Rob?”

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Of course not. The penalty was awarded and Beath was heralded as the second coming of Christ, as he just about became the first referee to use VAR somewhat well.

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That was until Baba blasted the spot-kick into the woodwork.

The Reds did eventually score on the cusp of half-time but whispers of offside against Diawara’s mistimed attack on the ball before it fell to Kitto went unpunished, even under the watchful eyes of football’s big brother.

Plenty were none too please with the calls. Trent Sainsbury, also known as God’s gift to the Socceroos, vented all night on Twitter.

 

 

The third incident occurred late when Ben Garuccio clattered into Roly Bonevacia’s legs in a particularly awful studs up challenge.

Although the referee brandished a yellow, a quick check of the VAR was enough to convince Beathy of the unseen and unpardonable nature of the challenge and Garuccio was quick to find the showers.

Here’s what Marco Kurz had to say.

“It’s very important that every week in each stadium there are the same rules and I hope that next week they make the same decisions.

“Personally I think its better to discuss [the call] after the game with a beer and [not change it], but that’s our new rules and I accept it.”

Former United coach Josep Gombau offered similar sentiments.

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“Look, it’s football no? It’s a game and you can win or you can lose. Today we lost the game but I leave the stadium with a lot of positives that we have to build on.

“The thing that is important is to have very clear [guidelines] that all the referees have in terms of the VAR.”

Who knows. Maybe our referees have a contract that states there must be a talking point at the conclusion of each match because we’re absolutely never short of them.

The A-League certainly is not lacking in its reserves of incredulousness but there is a fine line between fascinating and farce.

Let us not confuse the two.

 

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Adelaide-based writer, content creator and story-teller. Like one of those determined ants that require a second flick.