Brisbane’s late goal a winner for VAR

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All but one of the five games on the opening weekend of the season required the help of VAR and the final of these was the overturning of Roy O’Donovan’s offside to allow the late equaliser in Perth.

The linesman thrust his flag up after O’Donovan crept in front of Osama Malik in the box, but the ball floated over him towards Aaron Holloway who headed it back to O’Donovan.

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The VAR footage showed O’Donovan was not impacting play at the point he was offside and the decision was overturned.

The header, deep in stoppage time, helped Brisbane Roar steal a point from their opening round fixture against the Perth Glory.

The Glory scored the opener 34 minutes in, but Roar’s late equaliser was a product of their patience and persistence.

Roar coach Robbie Fowler said he was relieved the correct decision was made eventually.

“The flag goes up and it’s disallowed, but thankfully it’s the right decision in the end,” he said.

“In all honesty I’m not a massive fan of it (VAR), I guess I’ll be changing tonight.”

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Perth coach Tony Popovic was disappointed but said he accepted the VAR decision and the result.

He said he expected his side to drop off in the second half due to their physical condition but he knows they’ll get better as the season continues.

“It’s a decision, it’s made, it’s a goal,” he said.

“That happens every week in football, in the second phase he wasn’t offside so it’s a goal.

“We were disappointed we didn’t hold out for that last minute, we had a couple of chances to clear the ball, but that happens.

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This latest episode in the weekend’s series of VAR controversies yielded the correct result, but the system was tested by the subjective aspect of the offside rule.

The decision needs to be made as to whether the infringing player influenced the play. O’Donovan had no impact on play before it reached Holloway and by the time the ball was played into him he had moved back onside.

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Fowler said the situation was clear enough in his mind.

“There was a player maybe in an offside position but it wasn’t the player that headed it in and by the time it reached Roy he was back on side and the rule says, if you’re behind the last man, you’re okay,” he said.

Fowler was upbeat about his team’s performance in the second half, which saw them control possession for the most part, and new recruit Jay O’Shea had an impact on the game in midfield.

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“You’ve got to remember we’ve come to Perth, they’re a brilliant team and they’ve made it difficult for us but we’ve walked away and maybe we could have got more of the game,” he said.

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“We got a goal pretty late but having a good look at individual performances, they were very, very good.

“When you’ve got 11 individuals performing it makes for a good team I think and that’s what we’re trying to build at Brisbane.”

Next up for Roar is a week off thanks to the A-League’s new bye rounds, followed by their home opener against Melbourne Victory.

The Glory have consecutive away games against Western United in Geelong and the Wellington Phoenix in Wellington.

Feature Image Credit: Brisbane Roar

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