Sydney FC boss Steve Corica had no qualms with the straight red card shown to English import Joe Lolley after his side suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of Macarthur FC.
Lolley was dismissed for the first time in his career for a clumsy studs-up challenge on Macarthur midfielder Danny De Silva in the 56th minute on Saturday at Allianz Stadium.
At the time Dwight Yorke’s Macarthur side were leading 1-0 courtesy of a late first-half strike from Georgian forward Bachana Arabuli.
But Lolley’s dismissal by referee Kurt Ams left the Sky Blues undermanned with Arabuli and Ulises Davila netting thereafter to move the Bulls up to third on the A-League Men table.
“It’s a red card, he didn’t mean it but he’s just got his foot high,” Corica said.
“Of course he (is distraught), he has let his team down and then they scored another couple of goals.
“After the red card it was always going to be difficult.”
Yorke, who was returning to Allianz Stadium for the first time as a manager, said De Silva would be heading for scans.
“Lolley, knowing what I’ve seen of him, he’s not a dirty player,” Yorke said.
“It’s a nasty one, but I don’t think the intent was there.
“It’s unfortunate for Danny because that was one of his best games for us.
“It’s too early to dissect what the injury is, but it doesn’t look great at the moment.”
Sydney and Macarthur were neck and neck up until the 45th minute mark when Arabuli was able to escape the attention of the Sky Blues second-string centreback pairing of James Donachie and Adrian Vlastelica to turn in a Craig Noone cross.
Sydney’s season has been beset by absences – they were without Luke Brattan, Max Burgess, Jack Rodwell and Alex Wilkinson on Saturday – and have yet to keep a cleansheet this ALM campaign.
“There’s no excuses,” said Corica, whose side have lost four of their last five games.
“We are running out of centrebacks and it would be nice to have everyone fit because I think we have a very good team.
“That goal just before half-time shouldn’t have happened, we have to be smarter and defend better.”
When Lolley was dismissed, Macarthur began to exploit the vast swathes of space with Davila adding his side’s second with less than 20 minutes to go.
There was more drama to come, with Ams overturning his own decision to send off Donachie for a last-man challenge on Arabuli.
Sydney stayed with 10 on the field but Arabuli kept going, earning the praise of his manager after a well-taken second goal.
“I’ve got to give credit to our CEO Sam (Krslovic) who highlighted him,” Yorke said.
“It’s taken him time to get up to speed, but we feel we’ve got a No.9 who can score goals.
“He uses his body well, his link play is good and for this league, I feel he sent a message today. We’re delighted he’s on our team.”