He’s still not over it and he can’t apologise for it.
Three days after Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat saw his side denied a last minute penalty against Brisbane Roar – a match they lost 1-0 – the emotion is still there.
It’s an incident surely replaying over and over in Muscat’s mind.
As Victory rolled the dice late in their semi-final, Mark Milligan surged into the box with the ball, clashing with fellow captain Matt Smith.
Milligan tumbled and while the hands of Victory players, staff and fans pointed to the air in outrage, referee Strebre Delovski didn’t point his to the spot.
Muscat told SEN radio he was still yet to move on.
“It’s still very, very raw,” he said.
“Life goes on, there’s a grand final going on this week.”
“But for the group … it’s still hard to take.”
“You keep thinking `what if?’ but at some point we’re going to have to move on.”
It cannot have helped that referee Strebre Delovski, accused on the final whistle of “bottling it” by Muscat, admitted his mistake.
“In hindsight, if I had it again, it was definitely a penalty,” Delovski said.
“You don’t get a replay or five – you have to make it there and then.
“I was the first to put my hand up after I saw the footage… it was a penalty.”
Muscat said he couldn’t bring himself to apologise for lambasting Delovski after the event.
“Naturally I’m caught up in the whole emotion of the thing… That’s how I am,” Muscat said.
“I can’t sit back here and think I wouldn’t do things differently.”
It was a staggering display of how passionately Muscat sees the game after a week as tough as imaginable in sport.
Starting the week one game from an A-League grand final and an unprecedented spot in the Asian Champions League (ACL) knockout round, Muscat’s side were denied by the barest of margins for both.
A nil-all draw in Korea left Victory just one goal shy of advancing in the ACL, then came the heartbreak against Brisbane.
But the caravan moves on and Victory now looks forward to adding Albanian forward Besart Berisha to the club following his last match for Brisbane Roar in Sunday’s grand final.
Muscat said an announcement on fellow Victory forward Archie Thompson would come in “the near future”.
“I want to keep him around the football club, he’s a club legend,” Muscat said.