Frank Farina believes referee Jarred Gillett should have awarded two penalties and sent off Pablo Contreras in Sydney FC's 1-1 draw away to Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.
Contreras, as the last Victory defender, bundled over Joel Chianese late in the first half at AAMI Park, and although Gillett correctly adjudged the foul to have been committed outside the box, the Chilean could well have received his marching orders for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.
Sydney also had a strong claim to a penalty for handball from the resulting free-kick, prompting Farina to hit out at the performance of the match officials.
"It was quite a baffling decision by the referee on a number of fronts," he said.
"Just before half-time there I thought we should have had a penalty. And I thought they should have had a red card. He's denied Chianese a goal-scoring opportunity. You could argue whether it's in the box or not but it should have been a red card.
"And then from the free-kick it should have been another penalty. I thought it was handball. Which wasn't picked up. To come in at 1-0 probably would have been a real turning point.
"The interpretations are baffling. If you're the last defender and you deny a striker a goal-scoring opportunity, that's the colour of that bottle, as far as I'm concerned," he said, pointing to a bright red sports energy drink provided by a sponsor.
"For him to choose to give a yellow card, that baffles me. And then whether he missed the handball or chose not give it, I don't know. The linesman was on that side as well, the referee was right amongst it. They're the things that frustrate coaches and players."
Despite Victory seeing more of the ball throughout the contest, Farina felt his side were relatively comfortable in earning a point, and backed the team to qualify for the finals with two rounds of the regular season remaining.
"Possession's great, but it's purely and simply a stat if you're not doing a lot with that possession," he said.
"I didn't feel they created a lot of chances. I thought tonight we starved them of space."comments