ALM must learn Cup VAR lessons: Mariners

December 11, 2022 05:53 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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A frustrated Central Coast Mariners coach Nick Montgomery has encouraged the A-Leagues to emulate the way the Video Assistant Referee has been used at the World Cup in Qatar.

Montgomery's Mariners welcomed Socceroos Garang Kuol, Jason Cummings and Danny Vukovic back into the fold on Sunday but the trio could not inspire their side to victory against the Newcastle Jets.

Down 2-1, the Mariners looked to have secured an equaliser in the 74th minute when Josh Nisbet curved the ball into the back of the net from just inside the 18-yard box.

But VAR rescinded the goal after spotting a Michael Ruhs handball in the lead-up and the scoreline remained 2-1 to the full-time whistle.

"We've got it back to 2-2 and then (the referee) brings it all the way back for a handball," Cummings told Paramount Plus.

"Just let the game flow a wee bit."

Montgomery agreed, claiming the referees on the world stage struck a better balance between stopping the game and letting it flow.

"If we learned anything from the World Cup, it's got to be how they officiate the game," he said. 

"I honestly think we got the VAR wrong here. 

"If anyone watched the World Cup, we're talking about the best players in the world, the best officials in the world; if the ref didn't give something in the middle of the park, they never pulled it back, unless it was a real goal-scoring thing from in the 18-yard box. 

"The players just get on with it and that was really good to watch.

"We've copped it this week, it'll be someone next week, but at some point I just think there's got to be a bit of common sense."

Montgomery said limited gametime in Qatar, jetlag and a stomach bug had all combined to quell his Socceroos' influence on their return to club level.

Soon after he scored the Mariners' lone goal, Cummings was subbed out for Kuol, who struggled to assert himself once the Jets flooded their backline.

Kuol has four A-League games left until he ships out to Premier League outfit Newcastle United but Montgomery won't guarantee he will break into the starting side before then.

"You want to start every player and Garang, he's come off the bench and goes to the World Cup, doesn't play much game time, misses four games," Montgomery said.

"He's constantly trying to catch up but no doubt at some point he's going to start starting games, whether it's now or when he moves. 

"He just needs that run of not being taken away to an under-20 tournament, a World Cup - to be fair he's been dragged everywhere."


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