Corica fuming at referee decisions in wake of grand final loss

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Sydney FC coach Steve Corica has teed off at referee Chris Beath in the aftermath of his side’s losing effort in the A-League grand final, saying two decisions changed the course of the game.

Sydney lost 3-1, however were level at one apiece 35 minutes into the contest before Beath put events in motion that could not be overcome, according to Corica.

“The game was shaping up to be a very good one at 1-1, and things changed after that,” he said.

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The first decision in the 35th minute saw Sydney midfielder Luke Bratten awarded his second yellow card, ending his night prematurely after sliding studs up into Marco Tilio.

That came ten minutes after his first card, where he was penalised for a high boot on Aidan O’Brien.

“In my opinion the referee made the wrong decision,” Corica said.

With Sydney down to just ten players on the field, and little chance of scoring again, Beath’s second game changing decision came on the verge of halftime, pointing to the spot after Adrian Luna went down on the edge of the box after tangling with Anthony Caceres.

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Scott Jameison would slot the penalty and make Sydney’s job bordering on impossible with the challenge ahead.

Once again Corica was adamant the wrong decision had been made.

“Firstly, he had a foot outside the box,” he said.

“[However] we had one very similar with Alex and he didn’t give it.

“It was another mistake from the referee, I didn’t feel as if he had his best game. I suppose we all make mistakes.”

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While he did not explicitly state Sydney’s loss lay at the feet of Beath, on multiple occasions during his post-match press conferences Corica referenced the fact “things changed” after the decisions.

It’s unusual of a coach to criticise the referee after such a big occasion, especially in situations where there are no black and white answers.

However, it was more than just an emotional night for Sydney, as the team was up against it all week with New South Wales COVID-19 restrictions causing chaos to best laid plans.

“Earlier in the week we had to get a few players out of their homes before they woke up and the next day, we flew out … [but] in the end that is no excuse,” Corica said.

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Sydney were not able to create convincing chances going forward after having their structure dramatically altered so early on, as Scott Galloway iced the game for the home side with a third goal in the 93rd minute.

“Full credit to these boys for digging deep and trying their heart out for the rest of the game,” Corica said.

Feature image credit: Melbourne City FC

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Seb Mottram
Sports nut studying Media comms and Marketing at Monash.

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