Stajcic asks for VAR consistency

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Central Coast Mariners head coach Alen Stajcic has called for consistency on encroachment decisions after the VAR made an important ruling against his side in the F3 Derby.

It’s the new rule that made waves during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and now it has made an impact in the A-League.

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) called out Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Mark Birighitti for encroaching during the Newcastle Jets’ spot kick.

The Mariners shot stopper thought he had saved Dimi Petratos’ driven effort to keep the hosts in the lead however his celebrations were short lived.

Stajcic was left disheartened at the call but accepts that it was the right one.

“As long as they do it every single time when a keeper saves it.

“I think every penalty will have to be retaken because I can’t remember one where they have kept their foot on the line,” Stajcic said.

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“That’s the way it is. That is the rule but that decision swayed the momentum.”

The retake saw Petratos make no mistake and grab the equaliser for the Jets.

Despite the call, Stajcic remained resilient about his sides performance.

“There were certainly a lot of good players for us tonight, it was a good team performance and a lot for us to build on, move forward and give us confidence,” he said.

Speaking after the game, Birighitti was also frustrated at the decision.

“Look, I haven’t seen the replay yet but at first sight it’s disappointing because you make the save and there’s a retake.”

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“It’s just hard being a keeper, you always get told to take that first movement forward and try and attack the ball and that’s what I did, I came off my line but it is what it is, it would have been nice to save that second penalty,” He said.

The decision saw the Mariners remain winless in their first two games as they head into their first bye of the season.

The yellow and navy side will have two weeks to prepare before tough away trips to Perth Glory and Melbourne City awaits.

Feature image credit: Glenn Pokorny

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James Watts
Love everything about football, even when your team loses after being 2-0 up in a certain Grand Final!