Melbourne Victory Manager Kevin Muscat Says A-League Could Become A ‘Penalty-athon’ After 2-2 Draw With Newcastle Jets

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Muscat has called for consistency over penalty calls made by A-League referees.

Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat has warned that the A-League could become a penalty-ridden competition if referees chose to remain consistent with a crucial call made in his side’s 2-2 draw with Newcastle on Saturday.

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Victory came from 2-0 down to salvage a point against the Jets, with internationals Besart Berisha and Fahid Ben Khalfallah getting on the scoresheet.

Newcastle led through a rare Kew Jaliens goal in the 31st minute, before being handed a contentious penalty in the 33rd minute to go ahead.

Referee Strebre Delovski adjudged Khalfallah to have been pulling the shirt of Jets defender Scott Neville during a corner.

Muscat said Khalfallah was unlucky to be penalised and that the A-League could see “two or three penalties given a game if the referees were consistent.

“After speaking to the player, he thought it was six, half a dozen the other – we were both doing it,” Muscat is quoted as saying by AAP.

“It could be a penalty-athon from here on in, but having said that, we’ve got to put ourselves in better positions where we leave no doubt that it’s not a free-kick or a penalty.

“I’ve got no issue with it because games will have more goals, but now we need to see some consistency, because I dare say there possibly could have been two or three more of them tonight and there’s another game on at the moment and there will be two or three more of those situations in that game.”

Melbourne Victory face rivals Sydney FC next Saturday at Allianz Stadium, while the Jets take on the struggling Brisbane Roar at Hunter Stadium on Friday.

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