Disallowed Glory equaliser causes a stir

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A gutsy Sydney FC win to end Perth Glory’s unbeaten streak became the sub-plot on Friday night, after a dramatic finish culminating in a hotly debated refereeing decision denied Glory a last-minute equaliser.

Deep into added time referee Jonathan Barreiro blew his whistle to award Sydney a foul for a tug on Andrew Redmayne’s shirt from Joel Chianese which sent the Sydney goalkeeper to the floor.

As the whistle blew Brendon Santalab tucked the ball into the net; he wheeled away in celebration and the crowd were out of their seats, until they realised the equalising goal was not going to stand.

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The euphoria of a dramatic late equaliser was a short-lived feeling for most people at nib Stadium on Friday night, including Glory boss Tony Popovic.

“I actually celebrated, I thought it was a goal,” Popovic said.

“I didn’t hear [the whistle].

“In the end we could have had an equaliser.

“It did go in, obviously it got disallowed so we go away with nothing.

The dubious decision drew ire and disdain from the crowd; boos rung from the stands as the fans realised their miraculous comeback was stopped in its tracks.

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Popovic, however, remained measured in his assessment of the incident.

“I still haven’t seen the replay; it’s hard to see on the sideline, there are a lot of bodies,” Popovic said.

“What I’m told is that there was contact on the goalkeeper, so if there was contact then that’s why he ruled it out.

“If that’s what [the referee] called, that’s the decision he made and that’s that.”

On social media, however, there was a tirade of passionate assessments of the incident from fans and experts alike:

The reception of the incident and the glaring differences in opinion posed by the Twitter community point to a contentious moment coloured neither black nor white but a murky shade of grey.

Sydney coach Steve Corica, however, saw the incident as clear as day, and was quick to deride any conclusion other than the one referee Barreiro came to when awarding Sydney the free kick.

“I think it shows Chianese pulling the goalkeeper back,” Corica said.

“So I think it’s a very good decision, I don’t think anyone will doubt that.”

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But doubt it they have, as the entertainment thrown up from an intense final stanza in the game carried on after the full-time whistle to catch fire online.

The game on Friday night didn’t teach us anything; if anything it was a reminder of how little moments can have a huge impact on the final outcome.

In this case it was Sydney who were the beneficiaries of a referee decision that turned their last-minute capitulation into a hard earned victory, just like that.

But was it the right call? We can debate until the cows come home, but they won’t ever come back with an outcome different to a foul on Redmayne and a Sydney win.

Featured image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Matthew Comito
Matthew Comito
Football nut, student journalist and firm believer that Berisha dived in the 2012 A-League Grand Final. Covering Perth Glory for the 2018/19 season.

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