Kevin Muscat has blamed a string of “uncharacteristic mistakes” for Melbourne Victory’s 2-1 away defeat to Wellington Phoenix – ending his side’s five-game unbeaten streak.
The match at Westpac Stadium was turned on its head when the video assistant referee (VAR) upgraded Rhys Williams’ yellow card to a red, inside the opening ten minutes.
Williams, who brought down Phoenix's Andrija Kaludjerovic, was eventually sent off after the referee chose to review his decision using the VAR system.
“We made a couple of uncharacteristic, individual mistakes, which made it a lot harder to execute as planned,” Muscat said, deflecting any blame from the VAR system.
“Rhys has been superb all year and uncharacteristically for him, he made an error.
“Lawrence (Thomas) then makes an error which gifts them their first goal.
“Leroy (George) also had a good opportunity to increase the lead at half-time."
Muscat, who expressed his dislike for the VAR system earlier in the season, refused to get into a discussion concerning the misuse of the system, but remains unclear on the rules.
“I was lead to believe that the VAR wasn’t going to interfere or change a yellow card to a red,” Muscat said.
“Is that the right decision? Probably not.
“Ultimately, the correct decision was made. Rhys didn’t get anything on the ball and he was the last man.”
Victory now turn their attention to this Saturday’s home game against Perth Glory and Muscat hopes his side can learn from their mistakes in Wellington.
“There’s areas where we need to get better, but there’s some good things we need to maintain,” he said, crediting his side for their effort, despite being a man short.
Victory remain fifth in the A-League ladder and miss out on the chance to gain some ground on rivals, Melbourne City.