Adelaide United coach Carl Veart has applauded the quality and class of star striker Tomi Juric after the marksman completed a hat-trick of penalties to help his side win 3-2 over Central Coast Mariners.
The Reds twice fell behind to the A-League leaders on Friday and were twice awarded spot kicks, with Juric nailing both to draw level.
United were then awarded a third penalty in the 83rd minute which Juric stepped up and coolly dispatched to secure maximum points for the Reds.
“I can’t remember ever seeing three penalties in a game taken by the same person and scoring all three,” Veart said.
“It’s a difficult thing to do. To have the belief in yourself and have the quality to take all three and score all three, it’s the type of striker that he is.”
The spot kicks were not without controversy however, with VAR again playing a central role in the outcome of the match.
United captain Stefan Mauk went down on the half-hour and referee Adam Fielding immediately pointed to the spot before VAR intervened.
Upon review, Fielding upheld his initial decision despite replays suggesting minimal contact on Mauk.
The Reds skipper was again involved in the second incident, pulled down inside the area by Mariners midfielder Joshua Nisbet.
With the scores locked at 2-2, United almost found a winner during a moment of madness inside the visitors’ penalty area, but Central Coast somehow managed to keep the ball out.
In the ensuing passage of play, the Mariners raced away on a quick counter, and once the attack had ended after a foul on substitute Alou Kuol, VAR intervened.
After reviewing the footage, referee Fielding awarded the Reds a third penalty for a handball during the goalmouth scramble that had taken place almost a minute earlier, just as Central Coast were lining up to take a free kick on the edge of the area.
Veart admitted he had only seen the incidents in real time.
“I haven’t seen the replays so it’s hard to say,” he said.
“Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. That’s the way football goes.
“I think if you look over the course of the season it evens itself out.”