Definite spot- kick but no point dwelling on it
“A STONEWALL penalty”.
That was Socceroos midfielder Jackson Irvine’s take on referee Daniele Orsato’s controversial decision to reverse his decision to award the Socceroos a spot kick in their World Cup qualifying playoff first-leg draw against Honduras.
Honduras goalkeeper Donis Escober knocked over Socceroos defender Bailey Wright as he advanced to clear a looped ball into his penalty area. Orsato immediately pointed to the spot, but then noticed his assistant had his flag up.
Swarmed by Honduras players as he consulted with the linesman, Orsato changed his mind.
Escober then took what most thought was a free-kick for offside, although Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou later revealed the referee told him it was a goal kick that was taken, suggesting the decision was reversed for another reason.
Irvine, who had a strong game in his first start for Australia since the Socceroos’ 2-0 away loss to Japan on August 31, had no doubts the decision should not have been reversed.
“I can’t believe it. Anywhere else on the pitch if you win the ball and someone comes through you it’s a penalty,” the Hull City man said. “I thought it was a stonewall penalty … it’ll be interesting to see it again.”
Defender Trent Sainsbury, who like Irvine put in a tremen- dous shift, said he would not question Orsato’s judgement.
“He was paid to do his job so let him referee the game,” Sainsbury said.
Returning skipper Mile Jedinak, immense in his first game for Australia since June as he dealt with a groin injury, felt it was no use complaining.
“It was quite quick … I don’t have the benefit of a replay,” the Aston Villa hardman said.
“You’ve got to accept it and go on.”
Australia's Jackson Irvine.