VAR glitch to blame for grand final goal

Emma Kemp

A "technical failure" with the video assistant referee (VAR) stopped the controversial technology from disallowing the goal that decided the A-League grand final.

A review by Football Federation Australia has found the VAR, Craig Zetter, did not have access to the camera angles required to see James Donachie had been offside before Kosta Barbarouses's struck home a ninth-minute goal that gave Melbourne Victory their 1-0 win over Newcastle.

"We are extremely disappointed at this failure of the VAR technology and we understand the disappointment and frustration of the Newcastle Jets, their fans and indeed all football fans," A-League chief Greg O'Rourke said.

Replays clearly showed Victory offside in the lead-up to the winning goal. Pic: Fox Sports

Leroy George's swooping free kick found the head of Donachie, who knocked it down for Barbarouses to fire past Glen Moss via a deflection off Johnny Koutroumbis.

Replays showed Donachie - and two teammates - had been offside, yet the VAR remained silent.

Now angry Jets fans know why although it's doubtful the FFA's explanation will do much to quell their anger.

Nor will it silence the growing wave of opponents to the controversial video technology.

Saturday night's match at McDonald Jones Stadium ended with a sickening injury-time incident, when Roy O'Donovan was dismissed for ramming his studs into the face of Joe Marston Medallist Lawrence Thomas, who finished the match with his face covered in bandages.

The Jets striker's high kick collected the Victory goalkeeper flush in the jaw as he came out to collect the ball two minutes from fulltime, and referee Jarred Gillett issued a straight red card with a lengthy ban sure to follow.

It was a horrible end to the first grand final of any major code to be played in a regional town.