Oniki: Frontale will file protest over disallowed goal

Kawasaki Frontale manager Tohru Oniki suggested that his club will file an objection with the J.League over a goal controversially disallowed in the final minutes of the team’s 1-0 loss to Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the fifth round of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League.

With the defending champions trailing following Patric’s header in the 85th minute, Frontale appeared to have caught up after substitute Tatsuya Hasegawa stuffed in a loose ball that had bounced between Sanfrecce defender Hiroki Mizumoto and goalkeeper Takuto Hayashi.

But despite Hasegawa’s clear onside position, referee Minoru Tojo declared the goal offside after a two-minute delay, inviting a chorus of boos from sold-out Todoroki Stadium.

“As a club we have to do something about this,” Oniki insisted after the match. “The referee wouldn’t answer my question after the match, so the club needs to say something.

“The players worked hard … I feel bad for them. Our supporters are disappointed and so am I, so we need to make our case.”

But the second-year manager demurred when asked if his thoughts on Video Assistant Referees (VAR) were affected by the incident.

“Even VAR can’t guarantee that a handball will be called, so in some cases you just need to trust the referee’s judgement,” he said.