A-League: Sydney FC 2 Perth Glory 0
It was another week, another video assistant referee controversy as a fourth-minute penalty decision overshadowed Sydney FC’s 2-0 A-League win over Perth Glory.
Bobo and substitute Adrian Mierzejewski scored the goals from 12 yards in a game in which the Sky Blues were awarded three penalties.
With the paint from last weekend’s bitter Brisbane Roar fallout barely dry, Friday night’s drama set the scene for further vitriol towards the contentious new technology.
With 40 minutes gone in the first half at Allianz Stadium, Glory defender Joseph Mills was adjudged to have handled in the box after the ball cannoned off his arm while it was behind his back.
The decision seemingly made, Bobo stood on the spot ready to take his shot — his second for the night having missed an earlier penalty.
There the Brazilian remained facing off with Perth goalkeeper Liam Reddy for almost a minute before referee Shaun Evans eventually signaled that a VAR review had been called by video assistant referee Strebre Delovski.
At the outset of the VAR’s implementation for last season’s finals, Football Federation Australia predicted the average decision would be made within 30 seconds.
This one took nearly four minutes from the moment Evans pointed to the spot to the time the final VAR decision was made.
By then Kenny Lowe’s patience was up and the Glory coach had briefly stormed off down the tunnel as his Sydney counterpart Graham Arnold remonstrated with the fourth official.
When the original call was finally upheld, Bobo fired his spot kick into the bottom left corner.
The game’s beginning had betrayed no signs of the action to come, as Andrew Redmayne pulled off a superb save to deny a Diego Castro free kick and Bobo blazed an easy shot a whisker high and wide.
With Polish star Mierzejewski on the bench, David Carney started for a second week running and provided quality service.
Carney snagged a penalty after a push in the back from Mills, only for Bobo to hit the crossbar in a sign this just wasn’t the Brazilian’s night.
— Perth Glory FC (@PerthGloryFC) October 27, 2017
Sydney lifted in response, their near 70 percent possession bearing fruit as Jordy Buijs and Milos Ninkovic ran riot and Luke Wilkshire was twice denied by Reddy within a minute. Thanks to Bobo’s penalty, the Sky Blues took a 1-0 lead and 15-shots-to-three advantage into half-time.
After the break, Sydney pushed for a second and Carney found Bobo but Reddy, far and away Perth’s best performer, came off his line with purpose.
Mitch Nichols, playing his first match for Glory after his four-match drug ban, came closest to stealing an equaliser but was denied by a superb Reddy save.
With the game in the bag, Torres was shown yellow for bringing down Ninkovic in the box and substitute Mierzejewski stroked home from the spot.