The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 34

The Definitive Angle is PRO’s analysis of the week’s Video Review use in MLS.

Week 34 overview
There were two Video Reviews during Week 34.

ORL vs NSH: Review for goal (foul in APP) – not given

What Happened: In time allowed for stoppages at the end of the game, a goal was scored by Andrés Perea (ORL) and awarded by the on-field match officials. Alistair Johnston (NSH) and Daryl Dike (ORL) tried to reach the loose ball in front of goal, which had rebounded off the frame of the goal. There was contact from Dike’s left leg when he tried to kick the ball but failed to do so, instead kicking the back of Johnston’s right leg, which he had placed across the front of Dike. At that moment, Johnston went down in what appears to be a consequence of the contact and was unable to make any contact on the ball to clear it. The ball then ran through to Perea, who scored.

The VAR deemed this to be a foul by Dike.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – foul challenge.
Final decision after review: No goal.
Length of review: 1:37.

PRO’s Opinion: The amount of contact from Dike on Johnston was somewhat minimal so this incident was at the lower end of the clear and obvious scale. There is a reasonable probability that this impacted Johnston’s ability to clear the ball, but it is hard to be certain. Hence this was a difficult situation for the VAR.

It is subjective as to whether Johnston would have been able to play the ball cleanly, and it would be preferred for the decision on the field to remain and a high threshold for intervention maintained.

LAFC vs VAN: Review for goal (offside) – given

What Happened: A goal was scored by Mamadou Fall (LAFC) but disallowed for offside. The assistant referee at that end of the field of play judged that the ball had reached Fall in an offside position from a touch by teammate Jesús Murillo (LAFC), and therefore raised his flag.

On-field decision: No goal.
Type of review: Goal.
Final decision after review: Goal.
Length of review: 2:21.

PRO’s Opinion: Fall was in an onside position when the ball was crossed by Sebastian Ibeagha (LAFC). The ball then deflected off defender Javain Brown (VAN) in the goal area to Florian Jungwirth (VAN), who played the ball with his right foot to Fall to score. While it could be seen that Fall was in an offside position when Jungwirth played the ball, this was irrelevant for two reasons. Firstly, because he was not in an offside position when the ball was last touched or played by a teammate, and secondly, because Jungwirth had deliberately played the ball. This would have negated an offside offense even if Fall had been in an offside position when the ball was last touched/played by a teammate.