What a cruel, cruel way to decide a team’s season.
World Cup referee Mark Geiger’s decision to award a penalty on a controversial handball in the box sent FC Dallas to a 2-1 win over the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday night in the first playoff game of the MLS season.
With the score knotted at 1 in the 82nd minute, a throw-in bounced into the 18. Dominant Whitecaps defender Kendall Waston is the man in question here, and he appears to keep his arm at his side before trying to put it behind his back as the ball strikes his arm.
[ REACTION: “It was such a soft call.” ]
Geiger doesn’t hesitate to award a penalty, and the rest is history.
Watch it for yourself, and vote in our poll:
This was Geiger’s take, which doesn’t pass the smell test:
Geiger from pool reporter: “Waston deliberately handled the ball, hence the PK was called.” Has to say that, I guess. Never deliberate.
— Marc Weber (@ProvinceWeber) October 30, 2014
Michel converted the penalty past David Ousted, and FC Dallas hung on for the win in an otherwise fast-paced, fun game in Texas.
Tesho Akindele scored the victors’ other goal, while Erik Hurtado netted for the ‘Caps. Dallas moves on to face Seattle on Sunday at 9pm ET in the first leg of the conference semifinals, with the second leg coming Nov. 10.
There were eight yellow cards in the game, the final one coming after the final whistle for “foul and abusive” language by Vancouver defender Sebastian Fernandez, who was all over Geiger (as were most of his teammates).
The Caps had more shots, but FC Dallas carried possession. It looked set for extra time, before controversy struck. Twitter started on fire.
Now we know why Mark Geiger has never refereed an MLS Cup final. Brutal game-deciding penalty call. — Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) October 30, 2014
Mark Geiger hasn’t had a good game and that decision right there is mind-boggling. Was Waston’s hand in a natural position? Ball to Hand?
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) October 30, 2014
Mark Geiger just determined two @MLS teams’ fates with a nothing play that should have been a no-call. He needs to swallow his whistle there
— American Soccer Now (@ThisIsASN) October 30, 2014
I know it’s an easy narrative, but that comes across as Geiger trying to make himself the story again. That’s not a handball. #DALvVAN
— Thomas Floyd (@thomasfloyd10) October 30, 2014
Some countries… Geiger gets attacked , if we being honest security should of been on the scene immediately after the game
— Amobi Okugo (@amobisays) October 30, 2014