Penalty controversy in Canberra as Garriock admits defeat in W-League finals race

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You be the judge: penalty or no penalty?

To referee Casey Reibelt this challenge from Canberra left-back Karly Roestbakken on Perth Glory’s Sam Kerr in the box late in the game was worthy of a penalty.

To Canberra United coach Heather Garriock it wasn’t; she says it was an incorrect call which ultimately sent Glory atop of the W-League table, and Canberra out of the finals race.

“It’s certainly not a penalty,” Garriock said.

“But the same thing happens every week where you need to put up with these decisions, and they never get sorted out.

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“No penalty, certainly no penalty at all.”

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With three games left to play points are at a premium, and after losing in contentious fashion Canberra remain in seventh place.

After keeping Glory’s fearsome strike force of Kerr, Rachel Hill and Alyssa Mautz at bay for the majority of the game on Thursday night, the penalty call and subsequent Kerr goal in the 84th minute was a sickening blow to the visitors.

With five points separating Canberra from Brisbane Roar in fourth place, Garriock says the fight to make the finals is now over.

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“No, not [a chance] at all,” Garriock said when asked if Canberra could still make the finals.

“Not after today’s result, certainly not reachable.

“We’ve had some difficult decisions not go our way and some unlucky results.

“But in saying that we’ve got a squad of quality players and quality staff, and we’ve just got to play for pride.”

Glory coach Bobby Despotovski, however, didn’t see eye-to-eye with Garriock in regards to the game-changing penalty decision.

“Heather [Garriock] is probably upset because they lost, and most likely their season is finished,” Despotovski said.

“From where we were standing here, I thought Sammy [Kerr] pushed the ball, she [Roestbakken] didn’t touch the ball, she took her legs out.

“That’s what it is.

“At the end of the day I’m happy because we won it, they are unhappy because they lost it – that’s it.”

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With three points in the bag and top spot on the W-League table, Despotovski says without the penalty decision late in the game, it was unlikely either side would have come out on top in what was a close encounter.

“I think it was quite an even game,” he said.

“It was probably something like a penalty or free kick that would win this game.

“I’m pleased we are on the winning side, but overall it was an even match.”

Featured image credit: Vision Inspired Photography

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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.