Wellington Phonix defender Liberato Cacace received his marching orders for a nasty challenge on Sydney FC substitute Anthony Caceres.
Recovering from a tackle which saw him initially lose possession, Cacace made a desperate lunge for the ball but made dangerously-high contact with Caceres’ shin.
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The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) immediately checked the incident and made the match official aware of the horror challenge.
After seeing the vision for himself, the referee wasted no time in reaching for his back pocket and brandishing a straight red card.
While Fox Football commentator Simon Hill described the tackle as a “potential leg-breaker”, sideline reporter Adam Peacock revealed the Sydney FC coaching staff weren’t best pleased with the 19-year-old’s actions.
“It got a little hectic as you’d expect,” Peacock said.
“It’s a passionate game and a passionate moment.
“Liberato Cacarce ran staright off and Ufuk Talay knew after seeing the first replay what was going to happen.
“But as he ran off, one of the Sydney FC backroom staff started to give Cacarce a bit as he ran up the tunnel and Shaun Gill (Phoenix Operations Manager) who was accompanying Cacarce up the tunnel bit back and it started to kick off a bit there.”
The Sky Blues ended up clinching all three points thanks to goals from Brandon O’Neill and Rhyan Grant.
As for Wellington, they’re still winless this season.