While reviews of referee performances are regular occurrences, the semi-final review also came at the request of Canberra United with Chief Executive Heather Reid requesting an explanation from referees boss Ben Wilson.
“While I understand the result can’t change, we’re extremely disappointed with the way in which the matter was handled,” Reid told The Canberra Times. “I would appreciate his feedback on the way in which it happened.”
The 61st minute incident saw Sydney FC forward Kyah Simon and Canberra United goalkeeper Lydia Williams connect as they both challenged for a Princess Ibini cross. A photograph, by match photographer Joseph Mayers, demonstrates the two players arms locked with Williams unable to jump to challenge the ball. The loose fall fell to Simon’s strike partner Jasmyne Spencer with the American striking home for the only goal of the match.
The review concluded that Williams was impeded and a foul should have been called and the goal disallowed. With referee Casey Reibelt not in a position to make a call and no assistant referee signalling a foul, the goal stood to the disbelief of the Canberra players, crowd and on social media.
“Usually in that situation, the goalkeeper is given the benefit of the doubt and the goal shouldn’t have been allowed.” Reid stated. Despite the error, there is no recourse for Canberra United.
FFA Director of Referees Ben Wilson is expected to provide a statement to The Canberra Times.
This article originally appeared on The Women's Game. Photo: Joseph Mayers / The Women's Game.