The Video Assistant Referee system once again failed the Wanderers, as they finished 3-1 losers having played over 80 minutes with a man disadvantage.
Keanu Baccus saw a straight red on a dubious VAR review in the 6th minute, Liam Reddy should have seen red 10 minutes later, however a brace to Diego Castro and a goal to Andy Keogh was enough to defeat the Wanderers who only managed one goal in return via Oriol Riera.
The controversy started early out in Western Australia. After Brendan Hamill charged up field with the ball on the right wing, his poor cross allowed Perth to launch an immediate counter with a gaping hole in the Wanderers backline that Castro launched a through ball in behind.
The near side linesman appeared to completely miss what was surely Joel Chianese in an offside position, and he ran through on goal only to fall to the turf upon the lightest of touches upon the shoulder from Baccus. After several agonising minutes of slow motion replays the decision was eventually made that there had been an "obvious" error. Baccus was promptly dismissed from the field. Castro took the resulting penalty and slotted it past Vedran Janjetovic. Fox Sports never bothered showing a wide angle to the VAR to determine the seemingly impossible job Chianese had made of staying onside, and didn't show one at half or full time either.
10 minutes later Liam Reddy should have followed Baccus down the tunnel after he chopped down Oriol Riera with a very late studs up lunge that collected the marquee striker square on the knee. Instead the referee used a very lenient interpretation of the new law regarding "triple punishment" on fouls in the penalty area to only show the ex- Wanderers keeper a yellow. Riera did the same good job of the penalty as Castro did, but the signs for the Wanderers were not good as the travel, heat & playing a man down was taking a clear toll on their chances.
Brendan Hamill compounded his error by barging down Chianese on the edge of the area in the 40th minute, well within Castro free kick range. The 2015/16 Johnny Warren Medal winner obliged the home fans request to shoot by arcing a stunning free kick over the wall and into the top corner from 20 yards out and past Janjetovic's late dive.
Andy Keogh ended the game as a contest with an immediately 3rd goal. This time it was Thwaite caught out of position on the left wing, Castro was found in behind, and with Thwaite missing & Hamill doing little to trouble his markers, Castro laid the ball to Keogh and the striker blasted it past Janjetovic.
Josep Gombau made a host of changes in the second half, the only real chance came with Marcelo Carrusca volleying a powerful shot into the base of the upright midway through the half, while Perth glided through to their first win in 6 games.