Muscat offers bold take on penalty decision

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Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat, has disagreed with referee’s Jarred Gillett penalty call in Sunday’s (10 February) match against Perth Glory, in which Victory defender Corey Brown was adjudged to have moved his arms deliberately in an attempt to handle the ball.

The contentious call by Gillett in the 60th minute, saw Neil Kilkenny attempt to lift a ball over to an unmarked Diego Castro in Victory’s box, but was obstructed by the Victory fullback’s right arm. The resulting penalty was converted by Kilkenny himself to put the Glory up 1-0. The away side then doubled the lead eight minutes later.

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

“I spoke to Jarred (Gillett) after the game and his interpretation was that he (Brown) moved his hand towards the ball … that’s why he’s given it,” Muscat said at the post match press conference.

“Clearly Corey’s only a metre away and I’ve watched the replay, Corey hasn’t moved his hand.

“What this does do now, anytime any ball hits someone’s hand in the box, every team’s gonna expect a penalty.

“That also gave them a little bit of momentum, and it was a goal that could’ve been avoided in our perspective,” Muscat said.

Tony Popovic, Perth Glory’s head coach, felt that he “wasn’t surprised” the penalty was given, and was certain that once Gillett blew for the spot kick, Gillett’s decision wouldn’t be withdrawn

“We got a penalty but I felt it was a deserved lead for us. I didn’t feel that there was much of a controversy on that decision,” Popovic said.

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He then laughed off a question fielded by Ben McKay of AAP, who suggested that Kilkenny might have attempted the audacity of flicking the ball onto Brown’s arm with clear intentions.

“It will be a new one for Neil if he tried that, we haven’t worked on that one yet,” Popovic said.

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

With the result, Perth Glory now steer seven points clear of Melbourne Victory to sit atop the A-League ladder. But Popovic explains that yesterday’s behemoth showdown “was just another challenge”.

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“We’re not gonna go home now and say, look boys – we’re seven ahead, great. Let’s just move on,” Popovic warned.

“At the moment, we deserve to be top, if we’re there at the end, we deserve to be the premiers.

“For us it was just another challenge, another important match that we could still show our consistency, show our quality, and show that we don’t have fear. That doesn’t guarantee a result but the performance was excellent … and we’re delighted but we won’t look too much about what this means,” Popovic said.

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Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

Newly minted Socceroos Chris Ikonomidis explains that Glory’s successes so far has boiled down to strong squad cohesion, but their collective aspirations remain short term.

“It’s a mentality that everyone in the team are really good mates, we’re always spending time off the pitch together and it really shows on the field that everyone’s got each others’ back and we just want to get the job done,” Ikonomidis said.

“We definitely believe we’re good enough, there is still a lot of football to be played, we don’t want to say things too early but the way we’re playing, we’re definitely one of the best teams in the competition.

“For now, we’re only thinking about the next match,” Ikonomidis said.

Feature image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Ngau Kai Yan
Ngau Kai Yanhttp://ngaukaiyan.com
Journalism undergrad at Monash University, Kai is a multimedia journalist covering Melbourne Victory. Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund. Once "stole" Shinji Kagawa's plane ticket.

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