A VAR-assisted penalty has earned struggling Newcastle Jets a draw with title-chasing Sydney, much to the chagrin of Sky Blues coach Steve Corica.
Sydney coach Steve Corica was adamant VAR got a crucial decision wrong, but was also critical of his side as they dropped two precious A-League points away to last-placed Newcastle.
The teams' 1-1 draw at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday came courtesy of a contentious penalty and an own goal.
The result moved Sydney three spots up to second on the ladder, ahead of Adelaide United, Central Coast and Macarthur on goal difference, though the first two each have a game in hand.
Newcastle have now gone a club record 12 matches without a win.
But the Jets showed plenty of determination and had chances at the end to win after being under pressure for much of the final half hour.
Referee Alex King awarded a spot kick after a VAR check following a corner when Lachlan Jackson's header hit the arm of Sydney striker Bobo and Roy O' Donovan's powerful 59th minute penalty gave Newcastle the lead.
"VAR got it wrong, it was very clear," Corica said.
"I'm not sure what Bobo was supposed to do. He got sandwiched between two players and if anything it should have been a foul for us, because he (Jackson) was all over Bobo.
"It's disappointing of course because that's a crucial two points that we've dropped."
Sydney salvaged a deserved point in somewhat fortuitous circumstances, as an attempted 76th minute clearance from Jets defender Connor O'Toole cannoned off teammate and captain Nigel Boogaard into the net.
The Sky Blues had come close to equalising a few minutes earlier when substitute Trent Buhagiar's firm header crashed off the crossbar.
Corica said his team did not deserve to win.
"I don't think we created enough clear cut chances tonight," Corica said.
"The ball speed was too slow, we were sloppy with the ball, we didn't get enough in behind them to cause problems."
It was Newcastle who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the closing stages.
Substitute Valentino Yuel scooped a shot over from close range in the 89th minute, while Jets debutant Jordan O'Doherty put a stoppage-time shot wide.
"We're disappointed with the goal we conceded and then not taking the chance later on to win the game," Jets' coach Craig Deans said.
"Our efforts have been pretty good most of the year but the difference today was we had much more discipline about what we did."
Not for the first time this season, Sydney created a number of chances in the first half hour, but could not capitalise.
Kosta Barbarouses had two volleys saved by Jets goalkeeper Lewis Italiano, who also foiled two attempts from Milos Ninkovic, while Bobo's header from a free kick flicked the top of the net.
Newcastle then enjoyed a good spell before halftime with Sydney custodian Andrew Redmayne making crucial saves from Luka Prso and Jason Hoffman.