Wellington Phoenix’s unbeaten run in A-League Men ends in controversial fashion

Western Sydney captain Rhys Williams points to the big screen after Stephen Lucas checks Tomer Hemed’s goal with the video assistant referee.

Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Western Sydney captain Rhys Williams points to the big screen after Stephen Lucas checks Tomer Hemed’s goal with the video assistant referee.

Wellington Phoenix’s 13-game unbeaten run is over after a controversial goal from former striker Tomer Hemed gave Western Sydney Wanderers a drama-filled 2-0 win at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Friday.

Referee Stephen Lucas needed the help of video assistant referee Kris Griffiths-Jones to confirm the ball had crossed the line before awarding the 66th minute goal after James McGarry tried his best to clear it off the line.

But while replays showed the entire ball had indeed crossed the line, Griffiths-Jones missed the blatant shove from Hemed on Callan Elliot in the lead-up, which should have resulted in a foul to the Phoenix.

Not only did Hemed shove Elliot, leaving him unmarked at the far post, but Elliot went crashing into goalkeeper Oli Sail, who dropped the ball while attempting to gather Bernie Ibini’s flick-on header following a free-kick.

Johnny Koutroumbis sealed the win in stoppage time, going the length of the pitch to score in an empty net after Sail went up for a corner in search of a last minute equaliser.

The Phoenix had the ball in the back of the net in the first half but Joshua Laws was ruled offside.

Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Tomer Hemed 66’, Johnny Koutroumbis 90+3’) Wellington Phoenix 0

HT: 0-0

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