Melbourne Victory coach Tony Popovic has lashed out at the use of VAR in the A-League Men, believing a missed offside call contributed to a penalty that allowed Western Sydney to salvage a last-minute equaliser in their 1-1 draw.

Melbourne Victory - Western Sydney Wanderers

  • Victory drew Wanderers 1-1 on Sunday in the A-League.
  • The equalizing goal for Western Sydney came from a penalty in the 96' minute of play.
  • Questions over the VAR review have been brought to light. 
  • Melbourne now sit fourth in the ladder with Wanderers five points behind in tenth.

More A-League news can be found on FTBL.

Jason Davidson's incredible piledriver in the 91st minute, just two minutes after defender Roderick Miranda was correctly sent off after a VAR review for a studs-up challenge on Jarrod Carluccio, looked set to deliver Victory three points.

Then, central defender Brendan Hamill gave away a poor handball penalty in the dying moments, with Steven Ugarkovic coolly converting for a 96th minute equaliser at AAMI Park.

Popovic was adamant Tomislav Mrcela had come back from an offside position before heading Keanu Baccus' long ball towards Hamill's arm, and said, for consistency's sake, it should have been reviewed.

"We should clear that situation but in the lead-up, Tomi Mrcela is offside and that's a problem we've got because we've got VAR. We don't check offside. He's offside and challenges the ball," Popovic said.

"This is the problem. I would rather not have VAR but if we're going to use it, let's use it properly. We use it to send a player off, fine. We use it to check a handball, fine, but we don't use it to check an offside.

"I'm happy it's handball, but we can't miss the offside. That's just poor so whoever's up there (Kris Griffiths-Jones) shouldn't be there again.

"They check Roderick's challenge. It's a red card. I'm not arguing with that.

"They check for the handball. I'm not arguing (whether) it's a handball but if you're going to do your job properly that's an offside and it doesn't get to the handball. We get the free-kick, game's over."

Victory moved up to fourth while Western Sydney sit 10th, four points outside the six, but extended their unbeaten run to three

Popovic dropped Ivan Kelava for Matt Acton, citing a drop in the Croatian's confidence.

Acton had little to do as Victory dominated without reward, while Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Margush made several splendid saves.

Margush made a remarkable double save in the 53rd, denying Jason Geria then Marco Rojas in quick succession, while he also stopped Chris Ikonomidis in the 87th, before the game descended into chaos.

"We were probably second-best throughout the game, not going to lie, but they fought and they stayed in the contest and they never gave up," Wanderers coach Mark Rudan said.

"All those things we've been working on, that's where I'm really proud of them

"On another day, in seasons gone by, we probably would have lost that game but we're starting to get some toughness about us now."

The Wanderers escape was soured when Ramy Najjarine suffered a hamstring injury in the ninth minute.


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Popovic lashes VAR after dramatic A-League draw

Melbourne Victory's Tony Popovic wants more consistency from the VAR, believing a missed offside call allowed Western Sydney to snare a late A-League 1-1 draw.

The full A-League Men's schedule can be found using this link.