Second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers overcame VAR decisions and Mitchell Duke scored twice in a 3-0 home win over Perth Glory.
A brace either side of halftime from Mitchell Duke made sure the VAR system didn't have the decisive say, with surging Western Sydney Wanderers scoring a 3-0 home A-League win over Perth.
The second-placed Wanderers third straight win and their first in 10 games against Glory since 2017, moved them to within three points of Central Coast Mariners.
Coach Carl Robinson regarded it as probably their best performance of the season and attributed their form to increasing self belief.
Three times in 11 first-half minutes at Bankwest Stadium, the Wanderers had the ball in the net but all were ruled offside.
All three calls appeared correct, though two of them were line ball, with the offside Wanderers player on both occasions just fractionally ahead of the ball
Bernie Ibini had the first two rubbed out and Duke the third, but the latter ensured the Wanderers persistent attacks were rewarded.
In the second minute of added time at the end of the first half, Duke powered an unstoppable header into the net from a James Troisi cross.
Duke doubled the lead in the 47th minute, when he raced onto a pass from Keanu Baccus and blasted a fierce shot past Perth goalkeeper Liam Reddy from just inside the area.
The Wanderers sealed the win with a third goal, courtesy of some love from the VAR.
Troisi tapped in from close range, though it was originally ruled offside before being overturned on review.
Duke almost completed a hat-trick when he was put clear again in the 63rd minute, but he slid the ball wide from a tough angle and was substituted a couple of minutes later.
Even before the goals and the VAR decisions, the Wanderers had plenty of chances with Ibini twice denied from close range by Reddy, who also produced a fine diving save to deny Duke.
"I thought we played exceptional in the first half and could have, should have, maybe, been two or three goals up if it wasn't for VAR," Robinson said.
"I asked the boys to respond at halftime because the game was certainly in the balance against a very good team and they did.
"The first 10 minutes of the second half obviously put the game out of sight."
Perth, who looked vulnerable whenever the ball was played in behind them, started the game well.
In the first 10 minutes, Bruno Fornaroli had a shot tipped around the post by Wanderers' goalkeeper Daniel Margush and had another attempt blocked and Nick D'Agostino fizzed a shot just wide.
They also had number of shots in the final half-hour, but coach Richard Garcia lamented the inconsistency of his younger players and repeated errors when opposing teams counter attack.
"We definitely lacked intensity, but at the moment we are carrying our experience in four or five senior guys," Garcia said.
"From there we are counting on these young guys to be consistent and at the moment they are not."