Wellington Phoenix substitute Ryan Lowry has been controversially sent off after Video Assistant Referee examination with the home side holding a lead against Perth Glory late in the second half at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.
The Kiwis were up 1-0 with 15 minutes to play when Lowry was shown the red card by referee Adam Kersey - allowing Perth to gain a man advantage and eventually force an equaliser through Diego Castro.
Lowry's challenge saw the utility make slight contact with the leg of Castro as his slid across the pitch - an incident that appeared to be worthy of a yellow card at a most.
The argument is that Lowry makes limited contact with the ball and realises the Perth player will intercept, so makes malicious use of his momentum. While technically correct for me, the VAR is so infuriatingly inconsistent with these things. #WELvPER pic.twitter.com/xe0690sDRx— Bryn (@b_thompson94) December 2, 2018
There was even initial confusion when referee Kersey was asked by VAR to check an incident as fans, players and commentators weren't sure what was being examined.
When Lowry was given his marching orders, social media blew up, much like Phoenix coach Mark Rudan, with many suggesting this was the final straw for VAR in the A-League.
That’s a poor use of VAR, and not a red card. #WELvPER— Katie Lambeski (@katielambeski) December 2, 2018
Bizarre. VAR stinks. Or rather, the refereeing is not up to scratch in the use of it. That’s simply not a red in real time and baffling how it could be given on replay. Yellow at worst. https://t.co/UoN4tt2dVE— Simon Halliwell (@simohalli) December 2, 2018