Def­i­nite spot- kick but no point dwelling on it

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - FOOTBALL - MARCO MONTEVERDE

“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.

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