Ten-man Sydney FC claim hard-earned ALM Roar draw

George Clarke |

Róbert Mak’s opener for Sydney was cancelled out within three minutes in the 1-1 draw with Brisbane.
Róbert Mak’s opener for Sydney was cancelled out within three minutes in the 1-1 draw with Brisbane.

Sydney FC boss Ufuk Talay is calling for referees to officiate consistently after his side lost defender Jake Girdwood-Reich to a send-off in a 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar.

Girdwood-Reich was sent off in the 22nd minute after planting his studs on the foot of Roar ace Nikola Mileusnic, who was chasing after a ball on the counter attack.

Referee Adam Kersey initially flashed a yellow card in the direction of the young Sydney defender.

But after Mileusnic stayed down the official was directed by VAR to re-examine the incident on screen, and upgraded it to a red.

Sydney battled gallantly to take a 1-0 lead through Robert Mak in the 64th minute at Allianz Stadium on Sunday, but that was cancelled out just three minutes later when Henry Hore tucked one in.

When it was put to him that countless similar tackles go unpunished, Talay agreed.

And while the Sydney boss said he had no issue with Girdwood-Reich’s send-off, he was clear that he wants every challenge of the same nature to be handed the same punishment.

“The letter of the law says it’s a red card,” Talay said. 

“They never look at the intent, there was intent to win the ball and he’s half a second late. It is what it is.

“You said it yourself, those things don’t get picked up (in every game), so where’s the consistency then?

“It has to be consistent across the board and in every game that’s played. It can’t be a one-off thing.”

It is the second controversial send-off in recent months for the Sky Blues, who lost striker Patrick Wood to a straight red in their Australia Day weekend draw with Melbourne Victory.

The result leaves Sydney in fifth spot but they were able to stretch their unbeaten run to eight games despite Girdwood-Reich’s expulsion.

“We could probably have taken three points,” Talay said. “But with 10 men, and one point, it was important we didn’t lose as well.” 

Ruben Zadkovich’s Roar have lost only one of their past five games and sit in eighth spot, just two points outside the top six. 

“Until the red card I thought we were the better team,” Zadkovich said.

“It kind of shows what the group is capable of.

“The belief is definitely there in the group. To come back from 1-0 down is not easy and we bounced back quickly. I think that shows the resolve and the belief.”