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ALM: Crucial call not a penalty, says Jets striker

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Newcastle Jets striker Apostolos Stamatelopoulos has taken aim at match officials, declaring Sunday’s crucial call was “not a penalty”.

With the A-League Men’s (ALM) fixture against the Brisbane Roar delicately poised 2-all in the dying stages at Allianz Stadium, referee Jack Morgan adjudged Dane Ingham to have touched the ball.

Replays showed Jonas Markovski’s cross into the box took a deflection off the defender’s leg as it bounced back onto his arm.

The VAR also stepped in and supported the on-field official’s claim, even though Ingham’s action was unavoidable.

As a result, Brisbane’s Jay O’Shea landed the spot-kick to give the struggling outfit a 3-2 win.

The controversial decision was a major talking point after the showdown, with several experts questioning the validity of the ruling.

Even Stamatelopoulos expressed his disappointment.

“I don’t think that’s a penalty at all,” the goalscoring freak said.

“The referees came to us before the season started and they told us if the ball comes off any part of the body and then hits the hand, it’s not a penalty.

“So, I don’t understand how it’s a penalty.

“But, it’s the story of our season so far.

“We start off really, really well… our first half performances are always good.

“Then we just switch off a little bit in the second period.

“And, it’s something we need to fix sooner rather than later.”

The referees came to us before the season started and they told us if the ball comes off any part of the body and then hits the hand, it’s not a penalty.

Apostolos Stamatelopoulos

Stamatelopoulos was confident the Jets would “move on” and respond in their next outing against Sydney FC at the same venue on Friday 19 January.

“There’s a lot of belief in the side,” he said.

“It might not be showing on the ladder, however the boys have faith we’re heading in the right direction.

“Many of the squad, including myself, haven’t got a lot of games in the league.

“So, we’re still learning as a group.

“I think once we get experience in ourselves, the guys who are playing, it’ll fall into place.

“Don’t forget, I missed a goal at the very start… I could have had two [at the end of the day].

“So, if I score, it’s a different game.”

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