United’s first home win plagued by odd VAR decision

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Western United managed to overcome a meagre VAR decision against Western Sydney Wanderers to win 2-1, catapulting them to second on the table.

Yet it’s not United’s first home win making the headlines but a VAR contentious goal-line decision that left fans utterly dumbfounded.

Wanderers’ Mitchell Duke put the away side 1-0 in front in the first five minutes but eight minutes later United responded with the equaliser from Andrew Durante to make it 1-1.

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United thought they found the winner early in the second half when striker Scott McDonald sent a powerful header flying into the waist of Wanderers’ keeper Daniel Lopar.

What was believed to be a simple save inside the box caused controversy with McDonald leading United’s arguments for a goal.

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Yet referee Alex King was not convinced it had gone over the line and VAR was immediately called in to voice its opinion.

But the review caused just as much controversy as the initial decision.

In a bizarre approach, VAR review drew a line across the goal line and then a vertical line up to the ball in an attempt to demonstrate the ball had not crossed the goal line.

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Many confused fans were left scratching their heads as to why the line was through the middle of the goal line rather than the far edge, as McDonald’s header had to cross the entirety of the line to be considered a goal.

The decision of no goal came after five minutes of deliberation.

United coach Mark Rudan was more concerned about his team’s performance than the controversy.

“He should have scored from that range, for McDonald he should have the experience to make that more clear but it wasn’t meant to be,” he said.

“Referees are always going to have difficult choices to make…it’s got to be clear and obvious and it obviously wasn’t.”

Despite the early Wanderers goal, Rudan said his side could have scored more goals but they deserved the second goal.

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“We stayed true to our principals of play and demonstrated a comprehensive performance,” he said.

“The boys tonight bought into who we want to be as a club, and we’re happy we still have 10 points after five games but there’s still a long way to go.”

Despite the VAR decision, Rudan’s side eventually restored the peace in the second half when Kwabena Appiah-Kubi put United ahead 2-1.

United now sit comfortably behind Melbourne City on the table in second.

Feature Image Credit: Western United.

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Suzanna Telai
Football enthusiast and student journalist, covering Western United for the 2019/20 A-League season