Shane Smeltz surprised Perth's Andy Keogh hasn't joined Roy Krishna on sidelines
Wellington Phoenix striker Shane Smeltz is surprised Perth Glory's Andy Keogh is able to play this weekend.
Keogh received just a yellow card following an ugly incident at the end of the Glory's 2-1 win over the Phoenix in Perth last Thursday.
The Irish striker took exception to Phoenix defender Marco Rossi's tackle in the 92nd minute, throwing his head into the Italian's chest.
Referee Shaun Evans was looking the other way and would have had his view obscured by Phoenix defender Tom Doyle, but the assistant referee had a good view of it and could be seen stepping in soon after.
Rossi stayed on his feet after the contact, but it was possible that if he had gone down like his compatriot and namesake Marco Materazzi did when Zinedine Zidane headbutted him in similar fashion in the 2006 World Cup final, then Keogh may well have seen red.
If he had been sent off, Keogh could have been facing a long suspension given Central Coast Mariners striker Roy O'Donovan copped an eight-game ban for his headbutt on former Phoenix defender Manny Muscat last season.
O'Donovan's headbutt was to Muscat's head, so was far more serious and dangerous, but it still surprised Smeltz that Keogh escaped with just a yellow. The yellow card also meant the Match Review Panel could not cite Keogh.
"I don't know the exact rules, but I don't think they can [cite him] once he's been carded," Smeltz said.
"I think there would have been more made of it if he didn't get the yellow card."
It came after Phoenix striker Roy Krishna was sent off for a late tackle in the 62nd minute, with Smeltz saying it was a harsh decision.
"I think he [Evans] said it [Keogh's headbutt] was unintentional. I'm not going to go into it, there was probably probably more in that than there was in Roy's red card, but that's the way it goes, sometimes the referees decisions don't always go your way."
Krishna will now miss the Phoenix's home match against the Central Coast Mariners this Saturday, with the club opting not to appeal the red card, which would probably have been futile anyway.
Smeltz said it was tough to take, but something they would have to deal with.
"I probably don't think he should be missing this week, but that's the way it is, we have to move on without Roy this week. We've got three games in the space of seven days so he'll be back on board in no time.
"He's key to the squad, he's been doing well this season so we'll certainly miss him, but I think we've got players coming in who will do a great job."
With Gui Finkler returning from an unexpected trip to Brazil for family reasons and Michael McGlinchey looking fit again, it almost certainly means a return to a 4-3-3 formation with Smeltz leading the line, after they opted for 4-4-2 against Perth.
The 61 minutes Smeltz played in the Perth match was his first competitive outing for any club since October, but he said he pulled through the match well ahead of three home games in the space of a week.
"Physically I feel good, I could have gone longer into the game, but it was pre-meditated that I'd come off in the second half."