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'Clearly offside': Popovic slams goal call

AAP logoAAP 1/01/2017 Emma Kemp

Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic has blasted an A-League linesman for allowing Perth's New Year's Day goal to stand, claiming scorer Adam Taggart was "five metres" offside.

Taggart was marginally offside when he latched onto Chris Harold's through ball and beat goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson at the near post to open the scoring in the 1-1 draw at ANZ Stadium.

The 14th-minute effort gave Perth the early advantage and, despite Jaushua Sotirio's equaliser, it was a case of two points dropped for the Wanderers who missed the chance to leapfrog Kenny Lowe's side into fifth spot on the table.

Lowe felt Taggart was "half a body" offside but Popovic didn't hide his opinion on the matter.

"I'm still baffled by that goal, how the linesman can give that," said Popovic, who was fined seven weeks ago for criticising Sunday night's referee Jarred Gillett.

"You cannot miss that from that close.

"Five metres in front of him, it's clearly offside - and those things cost you.

"Then Perth get what they want, they get to sit back and hold onto something and they made it difficult in the first half."

The perceived injustice aside, the Wanderers did themselves no favours.

The calendar may have ticked over into a new year but last season's spluttering grand finalists showed similar failings as they dallied in possession and demonstrated a lack of cutting edge in attack.

"We had a lot of the ball but overall probably didn't do enough with it," Popovic said.

"And our ball speed wasn't as good as it's been in recent games. That's something we've got to really address."

After 13 rounds Western Sydney are still without a home win and sit 19 points off the summit.

Making the finals would now appear the most realistic goal, but Popovic wasn't willing to lower the bar.

"At the end we want to win it," he said.

"I don't see why that should change."

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