They’ve taken a while to hit their straps this season but the back-to-back champions Sydney FC are officially on the charge following a 1-0 win in lighting affected circumstances over the Perth Glory that takes them up to fifth place on the A-League ladder and left Glory coach Richard Garcia fuming.
In a game that was delayed by 45 minutes due to lightning and storms in the area the final whistle was then blown before the contest had entered stoppage time when the poor weather returned and cut out the lighting inside Jubilee Stadium.
It was a harsh blow for Perth who were denied what seemed an obvious penalty in the first half and still had several minutes left to try and find an equaliser when the game was ended.
That prompted a Garcia barrage post-match.
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“We’ve called off the game but then players are still on the pitch doing interviews so where’s the player welfare?” Garcia said.
“I’m all for player welfare but we’re still doing interviews so why’s the game been called off? I’m baffled, baffled to say the least.”
“You can’t ask a question because you don’t get a response. They (the referees) don’t speak to us,” Garcia continued.
The Glory’s rough luck was compounded on the evening after a blatant penalty was bemusingly denied even via VAR when Paulo Retre slid two footed into Carlo Armiento inside the area.
“Stone wall penalty in every league around the world including this one. That’s a penalty. It changes the game. Who’s running VAR? It’s a penalty every day of the week,” Garcia said.
Sydney victory, their fourth in their last six games, came courtesy of Kosta Barbarouses’ second half strike and means they are just five points shy of the ladder leaders Central Coast and with a game in hand.
The win may have come with some good fortune but Sydney still plundered 23 shots on the Perth goal and if not for the rapid reflexes of 39 year old Liam Reddy between the Glory sticks the margin would have certainly been greater.
After making numerous point-blank saves to deny Bobo the pressure finally told on Reddy on 54 minutes for the eventual winner when he let a well hit Barbarouses’ effort from an angle slide under his body for the Kiwis fifth goal of the season.
STAR’S RETURN IMMINENT
An ACL reconstruction and complications thereafter mean Glory and Socceroos winger Chris Ikonomidis hasn’t played in over 14 months. But he was seen warming up with his team before the game, hinting a return isn’t far off. It’s easy to forget how big of a contributor he was for club and country prior to his injury.
STAJ IN THE HOUSE
He may have his side clear at the top of the table but Central Coast boss Alen Stajcic was an interested onlooker at Jubilee Stadium. He was running his eye over Sydney FC ahead of the clash between his ladder leading Mariners and the Sky Blues in two weeks.