Stoppage time drama creates debate in Saturday's draw with FC Dallas
It's not unusual to see late drama at PPL Park.
This time, it was a dagger from 10-man FC Dallas – a 97th minute goal that forced a 2-2 draw and snatched away a pair of points from the Philadelphia Union.
"It's extremely disappointing that we give away two points in that fashion," manager John Hackworth told reporters postgame. "It's a hard way to feel like you lost a couple of points. But I wouldn't say we were without fault. I think the game should have been over. It was well over the allotted time that was shown on the clock, but you have to play until the final whistle and we didn't do that."
Twin topics for debate occurred in stoppage time, following Aaron Wheeler's go-ahead goal in the 87th minute.
The first was a goal line clearance from Sheanon Williams. Dallas striker Blas Perez had bulled his way into the box, finding space in the box to hit a low drive past Zac MacMath.
"It was kind of a weird, broken play, but that's what they're good at," Williams explained. "They don't give up on plays like that and they have some big bodies that flick balls on. We knew that going in, so I just didn't up on the play. I was there at the right time."
Replays showed the call could have gone either way.
"I was just worried about clearing it off the line," he added. "That's the ref's job. He said it wasn't across the line, so it wasn't across the line."
Dallas will claim karma on the equalizer, which was scored in the dying minutes.
Challenging for a Michel freekick, defender London Woodberry made contact with goalkeeper Zac MacMath inside the box. David Ferreira pounced on the loose ball, and flicked it into the air for Perez to head home.
The whistle did not blow for a foul.
"It looked to me like he was impeded on it," Hackworth said of the play. "But I have a bad angle so the referee has to make that judgment call and clearly he didn't think that was the case."
MacMath was asked if he was fouled.
"Absolutely," he said. "I thought it was a foul being hit, and then also afterwards I was dragged down by someone where I wasn't able to get to the second ball on the ground."
Union teammates commented on the goal.
"I don't know, I think that's a foul," said substitute Chris Albright. "I've seen that called a thousand times. It's understandable maybe if the referee is feeling the heat of the home crowd to (influence the call). I know games shouldn't be called that way but they are, often, and to not get that call is disappointing."
"To be honest, I just saw a bunch of bodies," Williams said. "They've got to be the biggest team in the league. Bunch of trees going up for the ball and unfortunately they got it over us."
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Contact Union writer Kevin Kinkead at firstname.lastname@example.org