Western Sydney Wanderers were left aggrieved as a controversial late penalty saw A-League leaders Central Coast Mariners avoid a rare defeat.
Western Sydney Wanderers coach Carl Robinson has lashed out at the match officials after his side was denied an unlikely win over the Central Coast Mariners.
The A-League leaders were awarded a late penalty in a hugely entertaining contest on Tuesday at Parramatta's Bankwest Stadium.
Oliver Bozanic slotted home the 83rd-minute spot kick to earn the Mariners a deserved 2-2 draw, following a lengthy VAR review which saw referee Chris Beath determine Keanu Bacchus had fouled Mariners forward Alou Koul.
The penalty was just one component of a frantic finale to the match that saw three goals in the final 16 minutes, a catalogue of missed goalscoring opportunities, a header against the crossbar from Wanderers defender Tom Aquilina and a red card after the fulltime whistle for the home side's assistant coach.
"ç," Robinson said after fulltime about the penalty award. "Based on the information we receive week-in, week-out, it was not clear and obvious (decision).
"I have just watched it nine times and I cannot tell you if it is a penalty. Unless it is clear and obvious you can't overturn something like that, and I think he has got it wrong."
Frustration boiled over after the final whistle with Robinson's assistant Kenny Miller red carded after comments made to Beath.
Matt Simon netted an impressive first-half opener for the Mariners, before substitute Bruce Kamau conjured two second-half goals in quick succession as the Wanderers found a second gear after half-time.
"I want to say that the second-half performance was excellent, great character," Robinson said. "I told them a few things at half-time. My players responded magnificently."
But a win for the Wanderers would have been cruel on the visiting side who created countless goalscoring opportunities.
Daniel Margush pulled off several top-level saves for the Wanderers and defender Aquilina made a remarkable block on the line, while Mariners' defender Gianni Stensness somehow missed an open goal late on.
The Mariners have now lost just one of their past seven matches.
"The first 85 minutes I thought it should have been up four or five-one to us," said Mariners coach Alen Stajcic. "I'm thinking we threw two points away rather than being blessed that we got a draw."
The result leaves the Mariners three points clear but last season's bottom side will lose their grip on top spot for the first time in three months should Melbourne City defeat Sydney FC on Saturday.
Stajcic said his side's constant attacking will not be reined in, but needs to be more measured.
"The game became too frantic, too erratic for my liking," he said.
"It comes from a good place ... it comes from a determination to win the game, and I love that about our team.
"Sometimes that might backfire. Fans or experts might call us naive, but I don't care.
"The players have that belief to want to push for a winner and I want to push for a winner as well, it just needed to be in a little bit more of a structured and disciplined way."