Frustrated Carl Veart, the coach of Adelaide United, will seek an explanation from the A-League after a questionable red card to attacker Hiroshi Ibusuki threw a lengthy shadow over the Reds’ 2-2 draw with Sydney FC.
With his team up 1-0 owing to an early goal, Ibusuki was issued a red card in the 40th minute of Sunday’s encounter at Allianz Stadium for fouling Anthony Caceres as he slid for the ball.
Although a closer examination revealed very little touch with Caceres’ foot, the video assistant referee maintained the on-field judgement, and the Reds were reduced to 10 men with more than a half to play.
“I’m sure everyone that was watching the game will have a very similar opinion to me,” Veart said post-match.
“That’s something we don’t want in the game. We’re trying to attract a lot of new supporters to the game and decisions like that might put people off.
“I think everyone in the league will want an explanation because they’ll be getting worried if we’re going to have red cards for challenges like that.”
The A-League advised coaches in the pre-season that tackles involving players’ studs making contact with their opponents would be scrutinised.
By the end of the game, Football Australia’s head of referees, Nathan Magill, had issued a statement confirming that the incident would be investigated by the Elite Referee Coaching staff on Monday.
Sydney FC coach Steve Corica admitted his team had been treated unfairly.
“(Ibusuki) did have his studs up as he slid in,” Corica said.
“(But) when you look at it again, it probably was a little bit harsh.”
Sydney had only one shot on goal previous to Ibusuki’s departure, but took the lead quickly after halftime, scoring twice in four minutes.
They equalised with ex-Nottingham Forest winger Joe Lolley then took the lead through teenager Patrick Wood, who came on in the first half to replace striker Adam Le Fondre (hamstring).
But, just as the Reds appeared to be heading for defeat, captain Craig Goodwin crossed to defender Harry Van Der Saag, who headed in the equaliser in his first game against his former side.
Unsurprisingly, considering their numerical advantage, the Sky Blues continued to have the most of opportunities.
Most notably, in the 84th minute, Luke Brattan’s free kick from just beyond the area sailed above the crossbar as the Reds held on for an entertaining draw.
Sydney is now winless in their first two games at the newly renovated Allianz Stadium, but Le Fondre’s first-half injury will be more concerning.
Wood took over for the Englishman and will be available to come in again when the Sky Blues face Macarthur on Saturday.
“We’ll have to see how (Le Fondre) goes in the next couple of days,” Corica said.
“Obviously we’d miss his experience but we do have players to come in in that position if he’s out next week.”