Football 3 years ago

Popovic bemoans Wanderers' disallowed goal

  • Popovic bemoans Wanderers' disallowed goal
  • Popovic bemoans Wanderers' disallowed goal
  • Popovic bemoans Wanderers' disallowed goal

A frustrated Tony Popovic has bemoaned a disallowed goal against Sydney FC that would have changed Western Sydney's 1-0 A-League derby loss.

At the stroke of halftime, Wanderers forward Jaushua Sotirio pinged an improvised backward header past Sydney keeper Vedran Janjetovic, seemingly to give the visitors the lead.

But the linesman ruled Sotirio was offside, in a decision that went down to a matter of millimetres.

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Popovic was adamant his player's body was not in front of Sydney defender Jacques Faty as was ruled, arguing his better-performing side had ultimately been robbed of a draw.

"It's a goal," he said.

"If it's line ball and we're supposed to be giving the attacking team the advantage, that's a goal.

"If it's clearly off, it's clearly off. That wasn't clearly off.

"You know on another day that flag stays down. Clearly that stays down on another day. Different linesman stays down.

"So for me that should be a goal, and it changes everything."

Sydney went on to win at the death, when Serbian playmaker Milos Ninkovic latched onto a beautiful through ball from Brandon O'Neill with a first touch just as fine before finishing on target.

Sydney coach Graham Arnold challenged Popovic's verdict.

"He was offside - just," Arnold said of Sotirio.

"He came from an offside position. He was offside before the cross got crossed and he came from an offside position."

The niggly match was peppered with a total six yellow cards via clumsy challenges and a few theatrics.

The Wanderers were at risk of going down to 10 men early in the second half when Scott Neville brought down Ninkovic having already received one yellow for a challenge on Matt Jurman.

Arnold was left screaming for the defender to be sent off, but was less resolute afterwards.

"I don't know about Scotty Neville, at the end of the day there were a fair few 50-50 calls and reckless challenges that could have gone either way," he said.

Dutch flier Romeo Castelen limped off eight minutes into proceedings with what looked like a nasty hamstring injury, but will have to wait to learn the extent of the damage.

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