Sunderland’s play-off hopes have been handed a further boost, after it was confirmed that defender Alim Ozturk’s red card from the first leg of their 1-0 semi final win over Portsmouth has been rescinded.
The Turkish defender was giving his marching orders for bringing down Portsmouth’s Gareth Evans just outside the Black Cats’ penalty area, just minutes after Chris Maguire’s thumping volley had given Sunderland the advantage.
Ozturk however will now be available for the reverse leg of the tie at Fratton Park on Thursday night, after The FA confirmed an independent panel had upheld an appeal of wrongful dismissal against Ozturk for the denial of a clear goalscoring opportunity.
[2/2] The Sunderland AFC defender was sent off for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity in the first leg of the EFL League One Play-off Semi-final against Portsmouth on Saturday [11/05/2019].
— FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) May 13, 2019
This is the third red card that the Black Cats have had overturned this season – following dismissals for Max Power against Walsall in November and Chris Maguire against Luton in January. Taking to Twitter to react to this news, many Sunderland fans were keen to point out the number of overturned decisions against the club, while others lamented the missed opportunity Ozturk’s dismissal had cost them.
Here are some of the best of those reactions.
I am sorry but we’ve lost the best part of 30 minutes with 10 men when we were on top in the game. 3 red cards overturned now. Ridiculous. Pompey players need watching by whoever referees the next game. If the ref can’t see what they were trying to do all game then I give up
— Paul (@paulthomase) May 14, 2019
That’s 3 reds overturned for Sunderland this season! I think the standard of refereeing needs looking at.
— Michael Forster (@fozzy_1987) May 13, 2019
Finally, some sense!
— Barbara Parkins (@spuggygirl) May 13, 2019
Happy days, and rightly so. How many bad decisions in the league this season though. Joke!
— Chris Laws (@chrisdlaws) May 13, 2019
3rd red over turned this season, ridiculous that this could cost us
— Brett Redmayne (@safcbrett) May 13, 2019
The wizard of Ozturk is back! #safc
— Bucky (@SafcBucky76) May 13, 2019
Shame they can't return the 23 minutes we were wrongfully forced to play with 10 men.
— Statsy (@Statsyy) May 14, 2019
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Can we have the 25 minutes back as well please? At home in the first leg on the front foot.
— Tim Ward (@timmyward) May 13, 2019