Sydney FC's decision to play on the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday night has had disastrous consequences for Melbourne Victory.
Not only did Kevin Muscat's side fall to a late 2-1 defeat, but key midfielder Terry Antonis was also forced off injured after slipping on a very poor surface.
Antonis fell under no contact in the second-half on a divet where the cricket pitch had been covered up and limped from the field in visible pain with his left knee.
The pitch, which hosted an NRL match on Thursday night, was noticeably scratchy with fans and former players less than impressed the game went ahead on it.
Watching @ALeague @SydneyFC vs @gomvfc on @btsportfootball Over the years the biggest rivals and most successful 2 teams in the league bringing in the big crowds paving the way in Oz and they get chucked on a cricket pitch 🤷🏻♂️ Fans 60 metres away state of pitch also?? Shambles— Scott Mcdonald (@ScottyMcD83) April 6, 2019
I hope next time a pitch like this is served up the two opposing captains come together and refuse to play. Put a marker down to say this is no longer acceptable. For quality of play but mostly due to player welfare. Fingers crossed for Terry @thepfa #bigblue #aleague #football— Rob Cornthwaite (@robcornthwaite) April 6, 2019
I'm sick of these shonky pitches. It's sad and pathetic and disrespectful and unprofessional. Players should not be getting injured because of the playing surface. I shouldn't even have to write this tweet. Do better.— Marissa Lordanic (@marissalordanic) April 6, 2019
Former Victory player Archie Thompson stressing that such a big game deserved better with player safety put in jeopardy.
"A pitch like that for such an important game is so disappointing," Thompson said on Fox Sports.
"It puts players at risk."
The extent of Antonis' injury remains unknown with the player in clear discomfort on the sidelines after being substituted.
Victory coach Kevin Muscat was concerned for his player post-game and is adamant the A-League deserves better than what the SCG surface offered.
"That is simply not good enough," Muscat said.
"The reality is if we accept that as a code of football we are going nowhere in a hurry."