‘Obviously a penalty’: Milicic’s frustration

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Macarthur FC have once again drawn against Perth Glory in their latest clash at HBF Park, leaving head coach Ante Milicic notably agitated by the 1-1 result, due to an ‘soft’ penalty call.

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The rainy clash proved a rigorous challenge for both sides in the wet conditions, with each only able to attain one point despite what seemed like infinite shots at goal.

Milicic expressed his irritation with the final result.

“I think [it was] two points dropped, we always go to win a game of football. Never have I instructed my team to go and sit back and be satisfied with a draw, and when you look at the kind of players that we’ve recruited and the history in their careers they wouldn’t want it any other way,” he said.

“I’m disappointed not to pick up maximum points because I felt that our performance deserved that and, in the end, we go home disappointed.”

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Glory were the first to strike, after captain Diego Castro sealed a goal from the penalty spot in the 12th minute. He took the kick after Mark Milligan charged through Andy Keogh mid-attack.

The controversy came as Charles M’mombwa was sent tumbling to the ground in the 27th minute, after being swiped from underneath by Glory defender Jason Geria, yet was not granted a penalty.

Though the Bulls’ striker Matt Derbyshire was able to quickly respond, tapping in a low cross from James Meredith in the 30th minute, Milicic said it was not an equal call from referees, given Glory’s prior chance.

“I thought that theirs [Glory’s penalty] was ever so soft. The less said the better, however in the end how we were denied our penalty with Charles, who then has to go off injured, if it’s not a pen with Charles then it’s a goal kick, it’s never a corner,” he remarked.

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M’mombwa was quickly moved off the field with a suspected ankle injury that may leave him out of the running for the squad’s Thursday night clash with the Mariners.

Milicic said he was openly frustrated with the outcome and its consequences.

“Get it right in the end, I’ve potentially lost a player, it was obviously a penalty so disappointed with those big decisions that went against us today but I’m probably not the first or the last coach in the A-league whose been on the end of those,” he said.

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Should the midfielder be ruled out of Thursday’s game, the coach said it would be a detrimental loss at this stage in the season.

“You look at the teams now with these short turn arounds, teams are losing match minutes and opportunity due to injury but let’s not rule him out just at this stage, hopefully he can get there and make himself available,” he said.

“It’s a long trip back we’ve got to recover well, prepare for our opponents and then put out the strongest possible squad to get a result.”

Feature Image Credit: Macarthur FC.

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Breanna Redhead
WA based student journalist, covering Perth Glory for the 2020/21 A-League season

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