Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi has been left disappointed after watching his side draw 0-0 with Wellington Phoenix in controversial circumstances in Wellington.
The visitors were awarded a penalty on the half-hour, after referee Stephen Lucas spotted a handball from Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante in the penalty area. However, after consulting his assistant, he reversed the decision, adjudging instead that Roar striker Henrique had pushed Durante in the back.
While extremely diplomatic after the game, Aloisi remained confused by what had transpired.
“I didn’t see (the) push and there was a handball, so I think that was a penalty,” said Aloisi.
“The referee was only ten metres away and he whistled for the penalty. The assistant referee was a lot further (away). It was a bit strange that he over-ruled the referee.”
“My view from the bench was that I didn’t see the push. Thanks to the big screen, I watched it again and still didn’t see the push, but the assistant referee obviously saw something. I don’t know exactly what, but we were disappointed we didn’t get the penalty,” he said.
While Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick labelled Lucas’s actions “brave”, Aloisi instead believed he should have stuck with his original decision, rather than being swayed by his assistant.
“I haven’t seen that too often. On offside decisions, yes, or something away from play, but the referee is right there. If he’s whistled for the penalty, he can actually see if there’s a push or no push. If the assistant referee has seen there’s a push, the referee should be – in my opinion – strong enough to say, ‘I didn’t see it and I saw the handball.’”
“I’m sure once he looks back at it, he’ll realise he made a mistake,” said Aloisi.
The Roar dominated possession throughout the game and Phoenix stopper Glen Moss was by far the busier of the goalkeepers, behind a largely inexperienced Phoenix back-four which defended stoutly to repel the league-leaders.
“We felt we created quite a few good opportunities during the game,” said Aloisi.
“You always want to win your football games. We play – home or away – to win. You don’t want to get too frustrated with the players because they performed overall quite well. They stuck to our structures and we created enough opportunities to score. Hopefully next time if we create those chances, we can go on and win the football game,” he said.
The Roar remain at the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder and next face Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Friday night.