Ange Postecoglou: Refs cost us win

The Victory boss was less than impressed with the standard of officiating at Coopers Stadium on Friday night
Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou believes his side was denied a deserved stirring victory due to a pair of first-half referee clangers in Friday's gripping 2-2 draw with Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.

Clawing their way back from a 2-0 hole, Victory charged hard towards the finish line with two late goals to tie the game away.
But Postecoglou was left seething that his team was even faced with a deficit.

And justifiably so.

Sergio Cirio converted a penalty in the 22nd minute after diving Melbourne goalkeeper Nathan Coe was unluckily adjudged to have felled a diving Jeronimo Neumann inside the box, with replays confirming minimal contact was made.

Then in the 35th minute, a surging Archie Thompson laid one off to Connor Pain, who routinely found the back of the net, only to be adjudged off-side when television replays suggested he was at least a metre on side.

"Do you think it was a fair result? No, I didn’t think it was a fair result," Postecoglou said.

"I thought we probably could have won three games.

"If it wasn't for the referee's intervention in the first half, it would have been quite convincing (win).

"A penalty that never was and a goal (disallowed) that was a clear goal - they're not small decisions ... we're not talking about throw-ins here.

"If I'd have been sitting here after a loss talking about them (referees), everyone would be saying I'm whinging about the refs.

"At the end of the day you want them to get the big things right. It (Hindmarsh) is a hard enough place to come as it is without the opposition being given two gifts.

"This is not a witch-hunt on referees but we want them to get the big ones right most of the time.

"I would have copped one in a half but to take two that were absolutely stone cold bad decisions, I think in a big game such as this, it shouldn’t happen.

"They don't need to inject themselves into the contest."

Faced with a 2-0 half-time deficit, Postecoglou was immensely proud of the way Victory dug deep to not only haul the home side in through fine goals to Guilherme Finkler in the 79th minute and James Troisi deep into injury time, but have United pinned on their heels for virtually the majority of the second half.

"I'm very proud of the efforts of the players in the second half to maintain their discipline and structure and keep going right to the end," Postecoglou said.

"It would have been very easy to say it's not our night but they showed tremendous spirit, will and discipline to keep playing our game."

Postecoglou would not be drawn into speculation this was his last match in charge of Victory, amid widespread speculation he is the frontrunner for the recently vacated national coaching job.

"I coach like every game is my last in charge, that's what coaching's about," he said.

"If you're asking me if I know that was my last game in charge, no I don't.

"Nothing's changed in the last 24 hours from the preceding 24 hours.

"I assume we'll have some sort of discussions over the weekend about what's going to happen (with the Socceroos), but as I sit here right now, nothing's really changed.

"Right now, I'm just reflecting on an outstanding night for our club."
Meanwhile, Reds coach Josep Gombau conceded his team tired in the second half.
Gombau pointed to Adelaide's short turnaround following their first round match against Perth Glory only five days earlier as a decisive factor.

"In the second half my team was very tired," he said.

"We were tired because we played on Sunday, (and had) just five days to recover.

"We played with nine (men) last game (against Glory towards the end).

"We also could not make a lot of changes because there are suspensions and injured players."

Although frittering away what appeared a match-winning lead, Gombau was pleased with the effort given the extenuating circumstances which included the late withdrawal of star playmaker Marcelo Carrusca (groin) and a foot injury sustained by right back Daniel Bowles after just 15 minutes of action.
"I am satisfied," Gombau said.

"In this position we lose a lot of players, we had no Cassio, no Carrusca, (Nigel) Boogaard and Isaias are under suspension and Bowles with his injury.

"But this is football.

"We are playing 11 against 11 and I don't any excuse.

"We are growing and learning from the mistakes we are doing.

"We are a team under construction."

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