Officiating questioned yet again in A-League thriller

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Eight goals, two red cards, and plenty of controversy. That’s the basic summary of Brisbane’s 5-3 win over the Central Coast Mariners on Friday night.

One of the first highlights in Friday night’s clash was the ongoing battle between Mariners captain Matt Simon and Roar defender Ruon Tongyik.

The physical battle between the two combative players was just the start of the mayhem, but it was a major tipping point for the Central Coast Mariners.

In the 18th minute of the match Matt Simon was on the wrong end of what he deemed a foul. Referee Stephen Lucas disagreed and allowed play to continue.

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The raging Mariner than confronted the referee and received a yellow card for obvious physical and verbal dissent.

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What followed, though, is an increasingly frustrated Central Coast team, coaching staff and supporter base.

Speaking after the match, Mariners boss Mike Mulvey took aim at the match referee Stephen Lucas.

“Part of the story has got to be questioning what went on out there tonight”, said Mulvey.

“There’s a few perplexing things there. The amount of frustration the lads must have been feeling – feeling like the whole world was against us.

“Matt Simon is a combative player, but he didn’t get one free kick today.

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I counted that he was pulled down at least once or twice in the box. That’s two penalties [that we were denied].

“We didn’t get the rub of the green”.

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Mulvey doubled down on his statement, claiming that the perceived reputation of his skipper may have had a hand in some of the decision-making.

“It looks like there’s a predetermined situation where Matt Simon is a bully and he never gets a free kick because of that and it’s just absolutely ridiculous”, Mulvey said.

“You need to referee the game in the way you see it. The sense of injustice or frustration that comes from decisions or non-decisions can be quite overwhelming.

“We just did not get anything.

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Matt didn’t get anything.

“I just feel absolutely gutted that we’ve lost this game and in the manner that we have done”

“I think the referee brought a lot of the situation on himself and caused us massive frustration.

“The same way we look at the way we’ve performed, hopefully the A-League has a look at the way officiating happened”

“At the end of the day we just want a fair crack of the whip, and I don’t think we got that today”.

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Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
Football writer and radio presenter. Loves everything football (well, except Italian's diving since '06).

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