Popovic confused over referee offside calls

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Tony Popovic was delighted with his side’s 2-1 victory over Wellington Phoenix.

The Western Sydney Wanderers coach however questioned the significant impact the match officials had on the final result.

Though Mark Bridge struck late in the 85th minute to seal a Wanderers’ win, Popovic picked out two dubious offside decisions and an unfortunate freekick that changed the match.

“We’ve been on the wrong end of the calls with the assistant referees,” says Popovic.

“We shouldn’t overlook it just because we won the game.”

Popovic sighted Pheonix’s first goal as a missed offside call.

“I thought we were a bit unfortunate with the Phoenix’s goal.” 

When Manny Muscat shot the ball across the keeper into the right corner of the goal there was a Phoenix player in Andrew Redmayne’s sight who even jumped when Muscat shot.

“The player’s offside, interfering with the play, it shouldn’t be given.”

Popovic also recalls an offside decision on Brendon Santalab in the 82nd minute, moments before Bridge scored in the 85th minute, that may have led to a Wanderers goal.

“1-1, that’s a defining moment,” said Popovic.

“If we had not come out with the three points then we’d be bitterly disappointed with that.”

The offside rule states that “a player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by interfering with play.”

In each of these instances, it appeared players were in offside positions and interfering with play. Evidently there needs to be a clear understanding of this rule to avoid future confusion.

Popovic was also unsure whether Scott Jamieson’s 25-yard volley in the first half was correctly denied.

“Look its a shame that it wasn’t given but you know maybe it was a foul,” said Popovic.

“Maybe we were a bit unfortunate with that one.”

Popovic laments the Scott Jamieson goal that could’ve been.

“To see Jamo score with his left foot from there I’d be delighted, but to see him with his right is a rare treat.”

Tony Popovic’s men rise to third spot on the ladder and head to Central Coast next week to face a Mariners who haven’t won at home since Round One. 

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Michael Puterflam
Sydney FC and Manchester United fan. Digital Publishing Coordinator at Fox Sports Australia. B Media & B Commerce from UNSW. Former Guinness World Record holder for longest video game marathon (FIFA 11 for 30 hours).

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