MLS Eastern Conference Final – MTL 2nd goal was OFFSIDE!

Posted: December 1, 2016 by thirdblindmouse in Football
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

The last few weeks have seen a multitude of MLS history in the making. The meeting of Montreal Impact and Toronto FC in the Easter Conference Final meant that for the first time ever, there would be a Canadian team in the MLS Cup Final!  The first leg of this historic event saw Montreal beat Toronto FC 3-2 at home, which meant that Toronto needed a win in the second leg, at home.  The Reds knew that it wasn’t going to be easy.  If Montral scored just one away goal, it would mean that TFC needed to work a little harder to get 2, and the more goals the Impact scored, the harder TFC needed to work in order to win the conference.

The second leg was a bit of a roller coaster and things were looking a little grim as Montreal opened the score line in the 24th minute.  Toronto needed 2 goals to win this series and they began to press…hard!  The light for TFC grew brighter as Armando Cooper leveled it off in the 37th minute, and Altidore bagged his first for the night in the 45th (making him the only MLS player to score a goal in every playoff match thus far).  If the score line remained this way, TFC would have won and gone through to the MLS Cup Final however, just 8 minutes into the second half, Ignacio Piatti leveled the score at 2 in the 53rd minute.  But wait…this goal should not have counted and makes this a major turning point in the match, and in my opinion makes for a Critical Match Incident and should be PRO’s next Play of the Week

What am I talking about?

Let’s take a look at what the IFAB LOTG say in Law 11, first.

Law 11 – OFFSIDE

2. Offside offence
A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a
team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by:
• interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by
a team-mate or
interfering with an opponent by:
•• preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by
clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or
••challenging an opponent for the ball or
•• clearly attempting to play a ball which is close to him when this action
impacts on an opponent or
•• making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an
opponent to play the ball (…)

What does this all mean, exactly?

Picture

 

To further explain this, here are some video examples…

 

 

Now that we have a frame of reference, let’s take a look at Montreal’s 2nd goal from last night…

 

At the moment the ball is played in both instances, Blue #7 is in an offside position:

mtl1

mtl2

 

Now, granted some will argue that the ball was last touched by a Red defender when the ball made its way near Blue #7 however, that touch is not a deliberate play…it’s merely a deflection and from a back/trailing leg.  No chance that’s deliberate.

mtl3

 

What happens next is the key to all of this and why the 3 highlighted point from the IFAB LOTG is revery important…Blue #7 interferes with his opponent by not 1, but by all 3 points, in my opinion

••challenging an opponent for the ball or
•• clearly attempting to play a ball which is close to him when this action
impacts on an opponent or
•• making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an
opponent to play the ball

mtl4 mtl5 mtl6

 

Now, if this isn’t interfering with an opponent or challenging for the ball, then don’t know what is!

If Blue #7 wasn’t there and wasn’t challenging for the ball, the Red defender would have easily been able to play the ball away from the goal, thus preventing Montreal’s 2nd goal and possible not causing the game to go into Extra Time.  Also, this missed offside led to a goal which now makes this any referee’s worst nightmare on an assessment – a Critical Match Incident!   This usually leads to a failed assessment and if you ask me, the referee crew failed last night.  Why wasn’t there any communication between the referee and the AR?  They’re wearing head sets!  Maybe there was.  The AR should have at least stood at the flag post indicating that there was a player in an offside position but unsure if he was involved in active play.

Wait…where was the AR when this happened?

mtl7

Maybe he’s just off screen?  Nope…he was already on the goal line when the deflection happened.
(I don’t have a picture of this at the moment but I did make note of it when I noticed on the replay.)

 

What do you think?

 

Happy Whistling!

The Third Blind Mouse

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