The A-League table without VAR

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The VAR has received its fair share of criticism this season but has it made a real difference to the table?

In total there were three game-changing calls from upstairs out of the first 30 matches of the 2019/20 A-League season.

Here is the league’s table after round five.

In round one there was VAR intervention when Adelaide United faced Sydney FC. Michael Jakobsen’s handball, whilst harsh, was correct according to the new rules put in place.

Al Hassan Toure had to be checked for offside in the same match but VAR correctly gave the goal, with the same scenario happening to Kosta Barbarouses. Without VAR’s help, Sydney would not have picked up the points – it would have finished 2-2.

Elvis Kamsoba thought he had broken the deadlock in the Melbourne derby. His front-flip celebration was to no avail as VAR spotted his head start on the last defender and overturned the on-field decision. This would have given Melbourne Victory a 1-0 win.

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Central Coast Mariners’ Dylan Fox was on the receiving end of a handball decision giving Mitch Duke the chance to put the Western Sydney Wanderers in front in Parramatta. There would have been a deadlock in this match without VAR.

After Newcastle Jets’ Dimitri Petratos’ first penalty was saved by Mark Birighitti in the F3 derby in round two, the penalty was forced to be re-taken when footage showed the goalkeeper had in fact encroached before the kick was taken. The Mariners would have had their first win of the season without intervention.

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Victory’s Ola Toivonen was judged to have handled the ball in the box by the VAR against Wellington Phoenix in round five. This helped the Phoenix escape Melbourne 1-1 with a point.

There have been other examples of controversial refereeing moments – Daniel Lopar saving the ball “over the line”, the Louis Fenton “handball” in round four – yet the on-field decision has been upheld.

If VAR was not involved this season, here is what the league table would look like:

Despite all the headlines regarding VAR, the results show there are no drastic changes in positions.

The only major difference is Victory have moved four places up the ladder.

This proves there are very little decisions actually overturned by VAR, which is what it was intended for.

Perhaps VAR is not so bad after all.

Feature image credit: supplied.

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Jordan Warren
Jordan Warren
Football mad, Bachelor of Journalism student at UOW. Liverpool to win the league. Covering Sydney FC in the A-League and W-League for 2019-20.

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