Ross Aloisi couldn’t hide his frustration that the lack of VAR prevented Brisbane Roar’s dizzying Australia Cup run ending in success, but the new manager is keen to not let the defeat slow his revival of the club’s fortunes.
In just five games, Aloisi has got the Roar back believing they can be a success once more after reaching their first final in almost a decade. They fell to Sydney FC in a 3-1 defeat on Saturday, with the turning point for the comeback coming when Jake Girdwood-Reich clattered into Brisbane’s Henry Hore with his forearm late in the first half.
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Girdwood-Reich was only shown a yellow card and referee Ben Abraham was unable to consult VAR given it is not used in the Australia Cup.
To make matters worse, Aloisi believed Sydney’s final goal came when defender Rhyan Grant was in an offside position in the build-up.
There has been speculation in recent days that VAR may not be in use in the A-League Men next season, something the Australian Professional Leagues have yet to publicly confirm or deny. But Aloisi said it was required when a place in the AFC Cup was on the line.
“This is a hugely important game for both clubs, you’re talking about Asian football as well as money and there’s no VAR,” he said.
“I’m not taking anything away from Sydney FC because they were outstanding for the majority of that second half as well.
“But the third goal is offside, Rhyan Grant is offside.
“I just feel sorry for the players.”
Aloisi says his side would take a great deal of belief out of the Australia Cup and into their A-League Men campaign.
The Roar boss’ only concern is centred around skipper Tom Aldred, who picked up a shoulder injury, but he is buoyed by the form of young striker Tom Waddingham, who has been on fire in the cup.
Despite the fact the teenager will be away with the Young Socceroos to start the season, Aloisi is reluctant to dip into the market.
“He’s our number one striker,” Aloisi said. “That’s the bottom line. He’s 18 years of age and doing extremely well.
“We’re fortunate that he’s gone from strength to strength.
“I don’t know what we’d do if we didn’t have him, there’s no pressure on him.
“A lot of other clubs go and buy strikers but it’s important to produce our own.”