SYDNEY (AP) — Western Sydney ended Sydney FC’s 19-match unbeaten streak in the A-League 1-0 in a contentious local derby on Saturday.
Brendon Santalab’s first-half goal crushed Sydney’s hopes of an unbeaten season, which endured until the 20th of the regular season’s 27 rounds.
Sydney’s disappointment at missing out on that unprecedented achievement was heightened by its regret that at least three claims for penalties were waved away by referee Chris Beath. The most obvious incident came in injury time when Sydney captain Alex Brosque was tripped by a defender inside the penalty box.
Beath reportedly apologized to Sydney coach Graham Arnold after seeing replays of the incident.
“In the 93rd minute, whenever it was, a big decision like that is always going to be tough for a referee,” Brosque said. “But the good thing is once they see the replay, they’ll know they got it wrong.”
The win moved Western Sydney comfortably inside the top six.
“In all aspects of the game we more than matched Sydney,” coach Tony Popovic said.
Sydney’s defeat allowed second-placed Melbourne Victory to cut its lead atop…