Melbourne City’s clash with Perth Glory was pitched as a blockbuster offensive battle between two of the competition’s best teams, with second-place on the table on offer for the winner.
But a tense first half finished scoreless – and ended with two of the strangest minutes of stoppage time the league has witnessed.
That was just one of the highlights from a bizarre A-League clash. Read on for all of the best moments!
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REDDY’S RIDICULOUS TIME-WASTING
Fans, pundits, coaches – and even other players – were left nonplussed by a bizarre piece of time-wasting from Perth keeper Liam Reddy at the end of the first half.
Reddy received the ball from a headed pass from a teammate, before looking to make a long pass to one of his forward.
But with no pressure from opposition strikers, he stood stationary inside his own box for 92 seconds, even juggling the ball.
Referee Daniel Elder did not ask the keeper to move the ball on, and was chatting with a Perth defender while waiting for the play to continue.
The crowd booed Reddy’s antics, which certainly weren’t waiting for: when he did eventually kick the ball, it went immediately out for an opposition throw-in.
“I’m not too sure what we’re looking at” Fox Football commentator Robbie Cornthwaite said.
Simon Hill called it “A quite baffling little period of play, that. Not exactly what the supporters pay good money to see, quite frankly.”
And Melbourne City midfielder Joshua Brillante said at halftime “I don’t know what was going on there, I don’t know why’s he’s keeping it for that long.”
Making the scene even stranger, referee Daniel Elder blew the whistle for halftime five seconds before the mandated minimum of two additional minutes were up.
As Robbie Cornthwaite said, “It looks as though everyone’s ready for halftime.”
REF’S BRILLIANT DIG AT GRUMPY POPPA
Respected A-League referee Alex King has delivered a brilliant response to a grumpy A-League coach, declaring being a fourth official the ‘worst job in the world’.
The talented whistleblower was the fourth official for the blockbuster clash between Melbourne City and Perth Glory on Saturday night, and the pressure of the second-vs-third battle was clearly showing on and off the pitch.
Perth coach Tony Popovic spent much of the first half in conversation with King, mostly complaining about the decisions made by on-field referee Daniel Elder.
But King, as the fourth official, was forced to put up with Popovic’s ongoing gripes about the lack of fouls awarded to his side during a physical and goalless first half.
Eventually, the poor officiator couldn’t take it anymore. According to sideline reporter and Socceroos great Archie Thompson, King said under his breath “this is the worst job in the world”. Ouch.
FORMER STARS SHINE IN CHARITY MATCH
Two of our Fox Football commentators took part in an Oz Football Aid charity match to raise money for Rural Aid, alongside a star-studded pair of teams full of former internationals, including Matildas and Socceroos legends.
The game, played ahead of City’s clash with Glory, was a rollicking good time – and Archie Thompson and Simon Hill gave their best.
The match was sponsored by the Professional Footballers Association
Great to see the football community doing even more to help in the recovery from the bushfire tragedy across the nation.