Football 3 years ago

A-League keepers need protection: Boogaard

  • A-League keepers need protection: Boogaard

Local football commentator Andy Harper says he's disappointed Sydney FC striker Shane Smeltz has escaped sanction for his collision with Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti.

Birighitti required more than 30 stitches to his lips and chin and had two teeth reinserted following the sickening incident where he was collected by Smeltz in their second round A-League match at the weekend.

The match review panel decided not to take any action against Smeltz because the referee deemed the collision accidental.

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The striker was not cautioned at the time of the second-half incident in the match won 1-0 by Sydney.

While Harper said he didn't want to see Smeltz nailed, he would have preferred to see the incident highlighted.

"The jury is out and accidents happen but it is important to safeguard against these incidents," Harper told the Big Sports Breakfast.

Harper said he would have liked to have seen a two-week suspension, but noted Smeltz's good history in the game and lack of intent.

He added the referee was being backed irrespective of whether the decision was wrong.

"We accept the ref's call - it's part of the game and we get on with it."

Harper praised Birighitti for his bravery as the No.1 hopes to be back in action this weekend.

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