The Western Sydney Wanderers have been robbed by Chris Beath and the worst use of the VAR since it's introduction to the A-League as it made multiple errors that cost the Wanderers dearly.
Despite coming into the game unbeaten the visiting Wanderers started just one league position above Adelaide United by virtue of their goal difference. Josep Gombau elected to leave Kearyn Baccus on the bench, choosing a midfield trio of Jacob Melling, Roly Bonevacia & Alvaro Cejudo, backed by the usual back defensive block of Janjetovic, Risdon, Cornthwaite, Thwaite & Raul Llorente and an attacking trio of Riera, Sotiro & Jumpei.
The game was 15 minutes old when the VAR's first mistake was made. The Wanderers took an attacking corner, where Oriol Riera was rugby tackled to the ground. In any league in the world with competent officials Riera would have been heading to the spot to take a penalty. Instead not only did Chris Beath, a referee who has it out for the Wanderers, miss the foul, the VAR which is meant to correct errors, declined to make the right call. Captain Robbie Cornthwaite was yellow carded as Adelaide broke up the field on the counter.
VAR was again called into action in the 20th minute and once again made a dreadfully incorrect decision. With an Adelaide cross finding their striker on the edge of the penalty area, his first time shot flew 2 meters into the hands of Cornthwaite. Play continued until the ball went out of play. At that point, the VAR directed Beath (who the Wanderers now only have a 25% winning record against, the 2nd worst in the league behind Newcastle) to review the footage, and he changed his mind from the live call, awarded Adelaide and sent a furious Cornthwaite off for a second bookable "offence". There was a measure of justice when Baba Diawara smashed the penalty into the post but it hardly mattered as Adelaide went into half-time 1-0 anyway through Ryan Kitto.
Yet again, the officials made the wrong call and were backed up by the VAR. Diawara managed a slight touch on a cross while in an offside position, the linesman ignored it and let the play run. The ball fell to Ryan Kitto who stabbed the ball home. Despite the replay showing Diawara clearly offside, it was not overturned and Roly Bonevacia went into the referees notebook for protesting. Adelaide pressed home their advantage in the 60th minute to make it 2-0 with Kitto picking up his brace after he passed the ball home after receiving it on a silver platter due to Janjetovic coming out and failing to meet an onrushing Nikola Mileusnic.
Chris Beath added to his error ridden evening when he failed to deliver a straight red for a blatantly obvious studs up lunge by Ben Garrucio on Roly Bonevacia. The VAR finally managed to make a correct decision as it overturned the awarded yellow card. It was too little too late for the Wanderers with only 10 minutes to go, they couldn't force a goal to make Adelaide nervous in the home stretch.
Both the VAR and Chris Beath made multiple huge errors in both judgement and application of the rules. Beath missed a rugby tackle on Riera, then missed the handball completely OR decided to change his mind and call it deliberate after the fact if he saw it live (a Morton's Fork of bad officiating), his linesman missed a clear offside for Adelaide's first goal, then both Beath and the assistant missed what was a 100% clear red card for Garrucio. The VAR backed up three of those poor decisions meaning it doesn't escape sanction either.
The level of officiating in Australia has been abysmal in the past few years. The introduction of the VAR is simply stacking on an addition level of failure. The time is long past for the FFA to spend some of their $20+ million a year salary on some professional referees from the likes of South Korea, Japan, Germany, the Nordic states or England and start getting decisions right first time around. The VAR must be removed as soon as possible. Not only does it get decisions wrong, it compounds incorrect decisions by the officials, it also strips away the joy of scoring a goal, a critical expression that differentiates football from other games that score rapidly and/or review every play with a 5 minute long video replay.