Referee Strebre Delovski has admitted he got it wrong by failing to award Victory a penalty in their 1-0 semi-final defeat to Brisbane Roar, reports Goal.com.
Referee Strebre Delovski has admitted he got it wrong by failing to award Melbourne Victory a penalty in their 1-0 Hyundai A-League semi-final defeat to Brisbane Roar, reports Goal.com.
Victory's season ended on a disappointing note with the narrow loss to the premiers at Suncorp Stadium last Sunday.
They had reason to feel aggrieved after Matt Smith's challenge on Mark Milligan inside the box late in the game was not penalised by the match officials, enraging Victory coach Kevin Muscat.
To his credit, Delovski has had the courage to publically acknowledge his costly mistake.
"In hindsight, if I had it again, it's definitely a penalty," he told radio station SEN.
"And I was the first to put my hand up after I saw the footage. After replays and reviewing it, it's a penalty.
"You have a split second to make a decision, you don't get a replay or five. You have to make that decision there and then. From a refereeing point of view I was in a pretty good position.
"At the point of time when the contact happened, I was unsure whether Mark Milligan initiated the contact or whether it was the other way through Matt Smith."
Delovski felt he was unable to point to the spot without being absolutely certain it was the correct decision, and also claimed his view of the incident was blocked by the Roar captain.
"Matt Smith ran in and then stopped, Mark Milligan went down," he said.
"At the time I thought, this is it, yes or no? I had that little bit of doubt. Unless I'm 150 percent sure, I can't give it. I can't give that penalty.
"(It) could have gone the other way where I give the penalty and there's no contact. I didn't initially see the contact because I was looking through Matt Smith. I had a decision to make, unfortunately it was the incorrect decision."
Delovski encountered Muscat at the A-League awards night in Sydney on Monday, by which time the Victory's notoriously combustible coach had cooled off somewhat.
"He apologised, said it was nothing personal, some of things he said in the press he regretted," Delovski said.
"I accepted that. We understand that our decisions mean a coach might be in the job day and out the next. I apologised myself.
“We kissed and made up so to speak."
Brisbane Roar will host Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League Championship on Sunday 4 May at Suncorp Stadium, kicking off at 4pm AEST. Click here to purchase tickets.
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