Perth Glory midfielder Ruben Zadkovich got a short run-out against Wellington Phoenix in an A-League match on Saturday.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t as straightforward as that.
A horrific two-footed tackle by the 28-year-old Australian just 17 seconds after coming onto the pitch as a substitute saw him receive a straight red card, a delightfully easy decision for the referee. It was Wellington’s Vince Lia who Zadkovich scythed down, though he was able to soldier on.
Zadkovich, who started his career in England with Queens Park Rangers and Notts County before returning to his home country, had come on for teammate Rostyn Griffiths in the 61st minute, but didn’t last until the next.
With Perth up 2-0 at the time, Wellington managed a goal while a man up but could not complete the comeback. Perth are at the top of the Australian table with 18 points in seven matches.
The New South Wales native has three caps for Australia’s national team, conceding a penalty in a World Cup qualifier against China in 2008, and scoring against Serbia in the Olympics that same year. He has spent most of his career with the A-League’s Newcastle Jets, where he made 97 caps before moving to Perth this May.