Controversy was everywhere in Montreal on Saturday as Atlanta United were beaten 2-1 by the Montreal Impact thanks to a late goal from Anthony Jackson-Hamel. While the late goal can’t be argued, there were numerous decisions prior to the goal that can be.
Atlanta took the lead through Kenwyne Jones in the 40th minute but the game changed on the stroke of half time as Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez was judged to have fouled Matteo Mancosu in the penalty area. A penalty was awarded to Montreal, which Ignacio Piatti scored to level the game.
Simon Borg of mlssoccer.com addressed the incident in his weekly Instant Replay show, which discusses controversial refereeing decisions from the weekend. Borg claimed that while it was a correct decision to award the penalty, referee Alan Kelly should not have shown Gonzalez-Pirez a red card because the defender was making a play on the ball.
In addition, Borg went on to highlight two incidents that he felt warranted red cards for the Montreal Impact. The first came in the opening stages of the game as Miguel Almiron was chopped down from behind by Victor Cabrera. Cabrera was shown a yellow but Simon Borg argued the tackle endangered the safety of Almiron and it could’ve easily been a red card.
The final incident came with 15 minutes to go as Ambroise Oyongo seemed to strike Kevin Kratz in the face. Oyongo’s arms seemed to be out of control as his right arm swung back and hit Kratz, but the referee opted not to act on the incident.
The defeat will sting for Atlanta as they look back on this game and see these incidents as ones that could’ve been treated differently on another day.
The three incidents were all controversial, some more than others, but Borg provides an interesting look at the refereeing from Saturday’s defeat to Montreal. Do you agree with Simon Borg’s comments?