Melbourne Victory’s Kosta Barbarouses was involved in a contentious incident during the 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers last night.

While Victory got themselves a penalty that saw Wanderers defender Michael Thwaite receive his second yellow card, Barbarouses was shown a straight red which at the time was very unexpected.

It was VAR that stepped in to review footage of the Kiwi who stomped on Keanu Baccus’ foot. It appeared deliberate and was a silly thing to do as teammate Besart Berisha concentrated on taking the penalty.

The undisciplined act came from nowhere and it’s hard to tell exactly what made Barbarouses do it. Whether it was from frustration or a brain fade is something that only he would know. As Victory solidify their place for an A-League finals berth, they can’t afford to miss key personnel that make have the potential to make the difference in big moments.

Criticism has come the VAR’s way once again, but in hindsight they did make a good decision. The problem for fans was the lengthy stoppage time which lasted over four minutes.

The offence by Thwaite was spotted by referee Shaun Evans instantly and as such didn’t need a second look because it wasn’t an obvious error: contact was made.

It would’ve been more efficient to assess the Barbarouses incident only and back Evans’ initial call. It shouldn’t take over four minutes to reach a decision for one circumstance.

Victory head coach Kevin Muscat gave his perspective about the decision post-match.

“You can sense the frustration in the stadium,” he said.

“The fact for me is if you’ve taken four and a half minutes, you can’t be certain.

“If you’re having to watch 10 replays you can’t be certain, or do you watch the 11th one and go we’ve made sure now?

“Surely if you watch it once and it’s deemed a red card you move on and do it quickly.

“How many times can you rewind and look at different angles in four and a half minutes? About one every 15 seconds, it’s a lot of times.”

 

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Liam Watson is covering Melbourne Victory this season while completing Media and Communications at La Trobe University.