‘He got it wrong’: Did Wanderers deserve penalty?

Wherever you looked, there was something happening in the 3-3 draw between Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers.

Fans were treated to a thrilling Isuzu UTE A-League clash in the rescheduled fixture at AAMI Park, where both teams staked their claim for maximum points.

The Wanderers squandered a 2-0 lead before fighting back to earn a draw. But should they have taken more from the game?


“What is VAR there for?”

That was the question posed by Channel 10 commentator Andy Harper on the Paramount+ broadcast post-game after the Wanderers were denied a second-half penalty.

With five minutes remaining, Western Sydney’s appeals for a spot-kick fell on deaf ears, despite the presence of VAR, when Rostyn Griffiths appeared to move his arm towards a Terry Antonis strike.

“What is VAR there for? How is that not deemed an action towards the ball… it remains a mystery to me,” said Harper.

Wanderers star James Troisi, the scorer of a stunning fifth-minute opener in Melbourne, did not hide his opinion.


“We saw the replay. It looked like he moved his arm. The ball was on target and potentially going in,” Troisi told Paramount+.

“At the end of the day, it’s the referee’s decision. My opinion he got it wrong. All in all, we can be somewhat happy with the result. It’s been a disruptive season so far.”

Rodwell’s maiden goal overshadowed by Williams injury

Jack Rodwell was at the forefront of Western Sydney’s blistering start against reigning champions City.

The former Manchester City and England midfielder put the Wanderers – who were without head coach Carl Robinson due to illness – 2-0 ahead inside eight minutes with his first A-Leagues goals and first strike since January 2019.

“It was enjoyable. It was end-to-end. We didn’t know if we were coming or going sometimes,” Rodwell, who joined the Wanderers at the start of the season, said afterwards.

“Obviously we wanted the three points. Going 2-0 up and conceding the next three. We dug deep and got the third one and nearly scored the fourth at the end. I can’t question the lad’s fight but we wanted the three points.”

It was a memorable outing for Rodwell, however, the game was overshadowed by a “severe” hamstring injury sustained by captain Rhys Williams.

Williams had to be carried off the ground on the stretcher in the second half, with Channel 10 reporter Michael Zappone claiming the former Australia international is set to be sidelined for a “long time”.

Finals on the cards after breakthrough win?

It’s been a tough start to the season for Western Sydney in the Liberty A-League.


Before Sunday, the Wanderers had gone four matches without victory to open the 2021-22 campaign. But Western Sydney celebrated their first win thanks to a 1-0 triumph at Brisbane Roar.

Bryleeh Henry’s 65th-minute penalty broke Western Sydney’s duck.

“It’s good to get the three points,” Henry told Network Ten. “Hopefully we can keep building off this.

“Hopefully that’s the break we’ve needed over the past three games, keep building and go for finals because that’s what we want.”

As for in-form Melbourne City, they proved too strong for lowly Wellington Phoenix, despite their spirited effort in a 4-0 defeat away from home.