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‘We were robbed’: Rudan fumes as Western denied by VAR

“We scored two, for me, legitimate goals, notwithstanding a penalty shout and [Berisha’s] shot which hit the hand and went out.”

Rudan, who used to work for Fox Sports as an analyst before he became an A-League coach, said the broadcaster was no longer using as many angles as it could because it had cut back on cameras and therefore decisions made via VAR could not be considered accurate.

He acknowledged that many would see his comments as sour grapes, but said he was compelled to talk about the mistakes “when they are as consistent as they are today … I need to make mention of it.

“I have a team in there with their heads down, bitterly disappointed, and they are angry.”

The first of the disallowed strikes came in the opening half after former Victory legend Besart Berisha thought he had scored his first goal of the season only for it to be ruled out because provider Connor Pain had been adjudged offside.

The second, which came in the final 15 minutes, saw substitute Dylan Pierias’ excellent individual effort denied by the VAR because he had also been called fractionally offside by the linesman when he received Victor Sanchez’s pass.

It was a game in which Victory had the best of the opening period with Western lifting in the second half, which is when Diamanti’s two strikes were denied by the crossbar.

Alessandro Diamanti shares his thoughts with the official on a day things didn’t go right for United.

Alessandro Diamanti shares his thoughts with the official on a day things didn’t go right for United.Credit:Getty Images

The result means that Western – who beat Victory three times last season – have still never lost to their big-city rivals.

Victory coach Grant Brebner made only one change to the team which got up late to beat Perth Glory with two late Jake Brimmer goals on Australia Day, Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio getting a rare starting opportunity up front. Robbie Kruse, who was feeling the effects of his 78 minutes on Tuesday, was left out.

Rudan kept the faith with the eleven who played out that astonishing nine-goal thriller with Glory last weekend which meant that veteran Andrew Durante made the 400th league appearance of a decorated career that began 20 years ago.

Early in the first half he almost paid for a mistake which would have blighted the memory of his milestone.

The centre-back conceded possession to Jacob Butterfield, the Victory midfielder quickly feeding Lawrie-Lattanzio whose shot was well saved by Western goalkeeper Filip Kurto.

Western were almost hit by a beautiful counter-attack shortly after when Victory defended a corner and broke smoothly, a long clearance finding Marco Rojas who fed a pass through to Brandon Lauton whose well-struck shot hit the post.

Western could not find their passing range, Diamanti was being shut down and Pain and Tomoki Imai, whose marauding runs are usually essential to Western’s attacking thrusts on the flanks, were kept in check by Victory full-backs Adama Traore and Storm Roux.

Rudan’s side started to come into the match and they thought they had got their noses in front after 35 minutes after a well-worked move involving Sanchez and Pain, whose cross to the right was swept home by Berisha only for it to be ruled out by VAR.

Berisha was booked a couple of minutes later after sliding in on Jacob Butterfield.

As Western lifted a gear in the second period Berisha went close after being played through by Sanchez before the veteran striker made way for Pierias, who scored twice off the bench against Perth last week.

Western’s two Spaniards then linked up to provide Guarrotxena a shooting chance, which Max Crocombe did well to block.

Moments later Diamanti’s fierce drive rattled the crossbar and with 14 minutes left the Italian was once more denied by the woodwork with another long-range drive

Pierias thought he had repeated his heroics of a week earlier when he shrugged off two challenges to beat Crocombe with a low shot, only to be ruled offside as well.

With the clock running down Victory had a great chance to steal a late winner when Birkan Kirdar was denied by an excellent Kurto save to ensure the game finished at 0-0.

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