Juric: We didn’t deserve to lose like that

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Sydney FC head coach Ante Juric says that a poor refereeing decision was ultimately to blame for his sides W-League Grand Final defeat to Melbourne Victory.

With the two sides locked in a stalemate in the second half of extra time with only seconds to go until penalties, the ball went out of play – and Victory were awarded a debatable corner.

Kyra Cooney-Cross scored directly from the resulting corner, and the goal proved to be the winner.

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Victory was the better side for most of the match – and the only factor denying them a goal earlier was a series of heroic saves from Sydney goalkeeper Jada Mathyssen-Whyman – who was awarded the player of the match.

Speaking after the match, Juric questioned the level of officiating in the W-League and said the level had to be raised in coming seasons.

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“To concede a goal like that from a corner that wasn’t a corner, it’s very disappointing,” he said.

“They didn’t deserve to lose like that.

“Unfortunately, the W-League is getting better and better, but the officials aren’t at that stage, maybe because they aren’t close to full time.

“We need to progress with them as well, otherwise we will get a lot of results twisting on that.”

Despite pointing to the corner decision as a key factor in the loss, Juric admitted Victory were the “better team”.

He said he was proud of his young Sydney team, who were missing a series of key players.

Sydney were forced to play without winger Courtnee Vine due to injury and Princess Ibini was forced from the field in the second half due to injury, leaving the Sky Blues without a recognised winger on the pitch.

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Juric pointed to the loss of both players as key in the defeat.

“It was a big factor,” he said.

“When you have got two players who are direct it makes the opposition think twice and double up at times. So not having them changes the way the opposition plays. To lose both was a big blow.”

Sydney won the premiership with the youngest squad in W-League history, with an average age of 22 and Juric said he was extremely proud of his young side.

“They gave everything. So what can I say about it,” he said.

“They did well the whole year… as long as they gave everything I have no issues.”

Mathyssen-Whyman also praised the young Sydney team and said the grand final defeat could be seen as a positive in terms of experience.

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“It’s such a young team,” said Sydney’s hero from the game.

“To make it to the grand final gives us such experience for our careers.”

Feature image credit: Peter Hugg

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Adam Sheldon
Full time football addict. Passionate about any sport with balls. Covering Sydney FC A-League and W-League teams for the upcoming season.
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