Victory coach banned over ref abuse
Melbourne Victory coach Marco Kurz will be watching Friday night's battle for sixth from the corporate box at his old stomping ground, after copping a one-game ban following his red card in Sunday's dramatic loss to Central Coast.
Sixth-place Victory is hopeful of regaining Ola Toivonen for Friday's crucial Coopers Stadium clash against Adelaide United, with one goal separating the two teams on the table, with United sitting just the finals spots.
Kurz was sent off for abusing the fourth official after Victory conceded two penalties in stoppage time to lose 3-2.
Watch every Hyundai A-League game LIVE & On-Demand on KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Mariners firebrand Matt Simon, who caused customary havoc after coming in - triggering a melee after inciting Victory left back Adama Traore - before slotting home the decisive penalties, one of which he helped win.
It sent the 4957 Central Coast Stadium crowd into raptures, with the home fans giving referee Kurt Ams a standing ovation as he walked off with the other officials while Victory players fumed as they believed the final penalty awarded against Leigh Broxham was soft.
Victory striker Andrew Nabbout was due to speak to Fox Sports after the match before he was dragged away by fuming teammates in the wake of the loss, which cost them the chance to overtake Western United in fifth.
Football Federation Australia's Match Review Panel opted to stick with the mandatory one-game ban for Kurz, meaning assistant coach Filip Tapalovic will call the shots from the sidelines for Friday's visit to Adelaide United.
Kurz is banned from entering the dressing room, technical area and field of play for Friday's return home and unable to complete media commitments two hours prior to kick off and one hour after the final whistle.
The MRP determined that Kurz had committed the offence of "use of offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures against a match official".
"The MRP confirmed that Kurz will serve a suspension of one A-League match, being the minimum sanction for the offence," the statement said.
Toivonen, who scored a brace in his last outing the pre-Christmas derby win over Melbourne City, missed the Mariners trip with a groin strain, with Robbie Kruse and Andrew Nabbout again looking dangerous in attack, although Victory failed to kill off the Mariners.
Austrian attacker Kristijan Dobras scored the opener via a deflection, before Mariners defender Kye Rowles turned the ball into his own net after Traore's looping cross rebounded off the upright.
MEANWHILE, Melbourne City full back Scott Galloway could be back within a fortnight after he was cleared of serious injury after limping off late in the draw with Brisbane Roar. Scans revealed that Galloway strained ankle ligaments.