The Guardian Australia
‘Baffled’: Perth Glory coach seethes after ALeague game called off over lightning
Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia cut a frustrated figure after a 1-0 loss to Sydney FC on Wednesday evening, saying he was “baffled” by the match ending a minute early due to lightning around Jubilee Stadium.
The lights partly went out on 89 minutes ahead of an expected four minutes of added time, but A-League rules allow for the result to stand if a match is abandoned after 45 minutes.
Kick-off was earlier delayed for 45 minutes as a storm swept through southern Sydney.
Sydney FC were leading by a lone Kosta Barbarouses goal early in the second half with Glory goalkeeper Liam Reddy keeping the champions at bay on countless occasions.
But the Glory, who are desperate for points to stay in touch with the top six, were finally displaying some promise in attack during the latter stages of the contest.
“We can call off the game, but the players are still doing interviews on the pitch,” said Garcia.
“I’m all for player welfare [but] we are still doing interviews on the pitch [after the match], so why does the game get called off. Baffled to say the least.
“You can’t ask a question [to the referees] because you don’t get the response. They don’t speak to us.”
Garcia also felt his side should have had a first-half penalty when Carlo Armiento appeared to be brought down. It was not given by the on-field referee and the decision was upheld by the VAR.
“Stonewall penalty. In every league in the world, including this one, that is a penalty,” Garcia said.
“It changes the whole game. VAR say they checked it, who is running VAR? It is a penalty every day of the week.
“No explanation for the decisions. This is a tough place to come, it’s hard enough coming here against a good team, let alone when there’s conflicts of interest all throughout the league. It is what it is.”
In truth, Sydney FC could have had the three points sewn up by half-time.
Reddy made a world-class diving save to deny Bobo, and also denied the Brazilian with a miracle block that then came back off the frame of the goal.
There were countless other chances and penalty-area incursions by the home side, and coach Steve Corica believes it is a sign of his side’s growing momentum with four wins from their last six outings.
“We were in control of that game, obviously they were chasing it at the end there,” said Corica.
“I thought we were very good, we created a lot of chances and Liam Reddy was very good for them again tonight.
“We were always going to do it [put together a winning run], we have the players to do it, so it is just about cutting out the silly mistakes we were making.”