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VAR controversies raise tensions in A-League

Sydney (AFP) – Football Federation Australia will cut down on the number of A-League video assistant referees as the on-trial VAR technology influenced several A-League games this weekend.

A-League boss Greg O’Rourke said match officials would steer clear of 50-50 calls following farcical scenes when two second-half yellow cards to Central Coast Mariners players Wout Brama and Jake McGing were upgraded to reds following VAR reviews.

Mariners coach Paul Okon was so incensed he declared the on-trial system was turning fans off football.

Western Sydney Wanderers gave their new Spanish coach Josep Gombau his first win in a 2-0 victory over the Mariners.

Champions Sydney FC extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a 3-1 victory over a 10-man Melbourne City.

Two Sydney goals near half-time proved pivotal, as Polish attacker Adrian Mierzejewski cancelled out Luke Bratton’s goal for City, before Brazilian striker Bobo put the Sky Blues ahead for the first time.

It proved a costly night for third-placed City who had Manny Muscat red-carded and on-loan Scottish striker Ross McCormack substituted with a muscle injury.

Newcastle Jets hold down second spot, five points behind Sydney, with the aid of a contentious late penalty off another disputed VAR review in a 2-1 home win over Adelaide United.

Dimi Petratos converted the 89th-minute spot kick awarded after his shot hit the arm of Ryan Strain.

Referee Stephen Lucas had his decision confirmed by the VAR but it incensed the Reds, with Spaniard Isaias and Vince Lia booked and assistant coach Filip Tapalovic shown a red card.

Spanish star Diego Castro helped Perth Glory to a 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix in Perth to return to the A-League’s top six.

Melbourne Victory jumped to fifth spot on the standings with a 2-1 away win over Brisbane Roar on Sunday.

Goals inside the first 20 minutes to Rhys Williams and Kosta Barbarouses was sufficient as the Victory held on for a 2-1 win over Brisbane.

Italian striker Massimo Maccarone got Brisbane back into the contest with a goal in the 56th minute but it wasn’t enough as the Roar lost for the fifth time this season and slipped to ninth place.

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