Glory boss fumes after lightning ends A-League match early

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - AFC Champions League - Group F - Perth Glory v Tokyo - Education City Stadium, Ar-Rayyan, Qatar - December 3, 2020 Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia was left fuming after a lightning storm forced an early end to their A-League match against Sydney FC on Wednesday night, depriving his side of an opportunity for a late equaliser.

Glory were trailing 1-0 with four minutes of additional time to play when the storm, which had delayed the start by 45 minutes, returned and a power surge put out the floodlights at Kogarah Oval.

The referee abandoned the match for reasons of player safety but the result will stand under A-League rules that stipulate only 45 minutes must be completed.

"I'm still trying to figure out why," Garcia complained in his post-match news conference.

"We can call off the game but then players are still on the pitch doing interviews on the pitch, so where's the player welfare?

"I'm all for player welfare but we're still doing interviews so why's the game been called off? I'm baffled, baffled to say the least."

Kosta Barbarouses scored the only goal of the match from a tight angle in the 55th minute to help reigning champions Sydney move up to fourth place in the league.

Former West Ham United and Hull City forward Garcia was also incensed that Glory, who remain ninth in the standings, were not awarded a penalty for a 25th-minute challenge on winger Carlo Armiento.

"Stonewall penalty," he said. "In every league around the world, including this one, that is a penalty. Changes the whole game. VAR check it, they're saying they did. Who's running VAR? It’s a penalty every day of the week.

"If we keep going down this road, where are we going to end up?"

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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