Atlanta United may have received the most penalties in MLS history, but it sure looks like they deserved one more in the early going of Saturday’s MLS Cup. Watch for yourself:
Penalty or nah?— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 9, 2018
It wasn’t obviously at full speed, but the replay seems to show that Larrys Mabiala didn’t get any of the ball when he tackled Josef Martinez in the penalty area. Notice how the ball continues to go toward the end line while Mabiala comes in from the side. Hard to imagine the ball doing that unless Mabiala whiffed.
Although referee Alan Kelly appeared to be getting advice from the VAR official after the replay, they apparently didn’t see a “clear and obvious” error. We’ll just say we disagree.
More likely, the officials were reluctant to make such a big call so early in the match.
Hopefully it doesn’t come back to haunt us.