Kenny Lowe incensed by Jaushua Sotirio's 'dive' vs. Perth Glory
Perth coach Kenny Lowe has condemned the VAR-influenced decision to send off goalkeeper Liam Reddy, contending Jaushua Sotirio dived to save Western Sydney an A-League point.
For 87 minutes of Sunday's 1-1 draw, the action was as conspicuously absent as the fans.
Controversy arrived with a bang in the 88th when Reddy was dismissed for apparently tripping Sotirio.
Referee Jarred Gillett appeared to reach for a yellow card before the VAR intervened, then appeared to act on advice to show a furious Reddy red.
"He hasn't touched him," Lowe said. "He [Sotirio] stepped over him, that's what Liam said. I thought the flippers, goggles and snorkel might have given it away.
"Fair play to the kid, he's trying to get his team to win, you can't fault that.
"It's football but you've got to pick it up, especially when you have another look on the video."
With all three substitutes used, defender Dino Djulbic was forced to put on the gloves and spend seven minutes in goal.
"He's a better keeper than he is a centre-half looking at that," Lowe said.
"He said he needs to keep his place because he kept a clean sheet.
"It's just disappointing we're going to Liam over something that shouldn't have been."
As it happened, Djulbic was rarely tested, especially against Marcelo Carrusca's ensuing free kick, which the Argentine sent straight over the crossbar.
But it was something of a climax to an otherwise tedious stalemate that marked an opportunity lost for both sides.
The Wanderers, while still sixth, will not be safe next week while the Glory remain stranded in eighth with five rounds to play.
It came on a night that a season-low 6612 spectators turned up at the venue in the absence of the banished Red and Black Bloc.
Mark Bridge put the Wanderers ahead after 10 minutes, driving a low shot from Keanu Baccus past Reddy at his near post.
The lead lasted three minutes.
Joel Chianese was sent through on goal and rounded Vedran Janjetovic but the goalkeeper was ruled to have cleaned him up with an errant leg.
Xavi Torres sent Janjetovic the wrong way from the spot.
Glory were handed a free kick after halftime when Raul Llorente fouled Chianese and Neil Kilkenny's ball deftly found Andy Keogh.
But, just as the Irishman had been earlier denied by Janjetovic, he was blocked at the final hurdle.
Up the other end, the lively Chris Ikonomidis took on a defender and drew a save from Reddy.
Wanderers coach Josep Gombau implored his side to put away more chances.
"We are playing at home," Gombau said. "If we want something this year, to be in the top four, these kinds of games you need to win at home."
Lowe also believed Perth should have been awarded a penalty for a Wanderers handball.