La Rocca out for rest of A-League season

March 25, 2013

Western Sydney suffered a massive blow to their A-League finals campaign with utility Iacopo La Rocca on Monday handed a four-match ban for his elbow on Sydney FC's Terry Antonis on Saturday.

The Italian was dismissed late in the game during Saturday night's 1-1 draw with the Sky Blues, after swinging his arm into Antonis' face as the two challenged for the ball.

While a direct red card attracts a mandatory one-game suspension, the A-League's match review panel decided the incident warranted an additional sanction of three matches.

It means La Rocca will miss the grand final should the Wanderers make it that far.

A spokesperson for the Wanderers said they would consider their options in regards to a possible appeal but coach Tony Popovic seemed accepting of his player's fate after the game, saying it was a clear red card and he expected more than a week's suspension.

La Rocca's loss is a major concern for Popovic with Japanese star Shinji Ono, Jerome Polenz, Michael Beauchamp and Aaron Mooy all carrying injuries.

The Wanderers' depth is certain to be put to the test as they attempt to secure the premiers' plate when they face Newcastle in their final-round clash on Friday.

Meanwhile, Sydney FC's Brett Emerton received an automatic one-match ban when he was sent off for a late tackle on Shannon Cole during the same game.

He'll miss Thursday's trip to Brisbane.