Nothing like a good football controversy to get the week started right. Referee Stephen Lucas obliged in the match he recently officiated betwixt the Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium this Sunday past.
The roar had been held scoreless for only the second time this season whilst attempting to win their fifth consecutive. The Phoenix tactics prompted Roar coach John Aloisi to accuse the Nix of “playing for a draw.”
That strategy appeared headed down in flames, with no hopes of a rebirth, unlike the Phoenix of mythology, when referee Lucas handed the Roar a golden opportunity when he called a handball against Nix skipper Andrew Durante.
What followed has become an all-too-typical sight in sports of every kind. Brazilian Roar player Henrique, one of two players on the Roar side requiring just the one name for identification purposes, lined up to take the penalty whilst Lucas and his assistants held a conference to discuss the situation in further detail.
The result of the conference was a free-kick against Henrique for pushing Durante. Everyone associated with the Roar was scandalised by the reversal. The eventual outcome was still a nil-nil finish. Aloisi, rightly perhaps, questioned how a call made by an official in close proximity to the play could be overruled by a distant linesman.