Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi says his side never recovered from what he considers an incorrect penalty decision early in their loss to Brisbane Roar.
Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi says his side never recovered from what he considers an incorrect penalty decision early in the first half of their 2-0 loss to Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
Heart are now out of finals contention after going down to an inspired Brisbane display, particularly in the first period.
Aloisi blamed several factors, including the inexperience of his players, along with the penalty call, for a listless Heart performance.
In the 11th minute, Roar winger Ivan Franjic was bundled into from behind in the Heart area by Sam Mitchinson, and referee Matthew Gillett pointed to the spot.
Besart Berisha converted the penalty to give Brisbane the advantage before a Thomas Broich screamer from 25 yards later in the half doubled their lead.
"If that was a penalty then I would have had free-kicks for fun when I played," Aloisi said.
"If a player doesn't go down, and go to ground, and he wins the ball, and there's a little bit of contact, it's not a penalty. He touches the ball.
"And that's hard because it happened the first nine minutes (sic), and that gives Brisbane a lift and our players drop, especially when you've got so many young boys out there.
"Then every time we tackled it was a free-kick, it was a yellow card.
"That's the way it goes. I'm not saying that's the reason we lost, but I thought that was a poor performance by the referee, in my opinion.
"Everyone has their opinion, but if there are going to be penalties like that every week then we'll see about three or four penalties every game."
Aloisi lamented the fact his team are now out of contention for the title, but praised a strong performance from the defending champions.
"It's disappointing because it means our season's over now, we can't possibly make the finals," Aloisi said.
"I thought that Brisbane deserved the win tonight. They were a lot better than us, especially first half.
"We changed a few things at half-time and I thought we came out a little bit better and we played some half decent stuff.
"I was happy with the performance in the second half, because we had a lot of players out, we've had to deal with that all season, and we had a lot of young boys, especially in the back line.
"So a positive about it is we're giving our young boys experience and we'll be better for it next season, and they'll be better for it."