Aloisi questions match-turning penalty

February 2, 2013
By Guy Hand

Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi believes Victory attacker Marcos Flores' propensity to "go down a little bit easier than other players" may have wrongly drawn the penalty which ultimately decided Saturday night's A-League derby.

Aloisi's team lost 2-1 at Etihad Stadium - the Victory taking a two-goal lead from a second-half penalty awarded to Flores after Heart's Jonathan Germano was adjudged by referee Strebre Delovski to have manhandled the Victory player off the ball.

But Aloisi wasn't convinced it was a penalty.

He suggested Flores may have invited the contact, and then made the most of it when it happened.

"I saw Flores sort of back into Germano from a distance - it looked like Germano was trying to get him out of the way to get in front of him, not to actually foul him because the ball was nowhere near play then," Aloisi said.

"It's hard for me to comment whether it was a penalty or not, but I will say that sometimes he (Flores) might go down a little bit easier than other players."

Argentine Flores had won a first half free-kick falling under a Heart challenge with minimal contact.

Melbourne Heart look set to lose striker Josip Tadic for at least their home match against bottom side Perth Glory next weekend.

Tadic was substituted with a suspected broken toe during the first half - Aloisi conceding it "doesn't look good" for the player to play next week.

But the lively first half performance of returning striker Eli Babalj will give the side an up-front focal point as they battle to claw back into the top six.

It was only the 20-year-old's second A-League outing since returning from a spell at Serbian club Red Star Belgrade.