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The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 22

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

Week 22 overview
There were two Video Reviews during Week 22.

ORL vs PHI: Review for goal (offside) – given

What Happened: A goal was scored by Dániel Gazdag (PHI) but disallowed by the on-field match officials for offside.

However, because the whistle had been blown after the ball had entered the goal, the VAR had an opportunity to check whether the disallowing of the goal was a clear and obvious error. On doing so, he saw that at the moment the ball was headed towards Gazdag by teammate Jakob Glesnes (PHI), Gazdag was in very close proximity to defender Ruan (ORL).

The footage showed that the right foot of Ruan was closer to the goal line than any part of Gazdag. Because the players were in such close proximity to each other, the VAR was able to conclusively determine that the offside decision was a clear and obvious error, and he recommended a Video Review.

When the referee looked at the footage at the RRA, he agreed and awarded a goal to Philadelphia Union.

On-field decision: No goal – offside.
Type of review: Goal.
Final decision after review: Goal.
Length of review: 2:36.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a good use of the Video Review system to overturn a clear and obvious error at a very important moment in the match.

ORL vs PHI: Review for penalty kick (foul challenge) – not given

What Happened: Antonio Carlos (ORL) and Dániel Gazdag (PHI) tangled in the Philadelphia Union penalty area as the ball came in from an Orlando City corner. The referee did not identify an offense in real-time and allowed the game to continue.

The VAR formed the opinion that a penalty should have been awarded due to Gazdag pulling the shirt of Carlos as the latter tried to jump for the ball. The VAR deemed the non-award of a penalty kick to be a clear and obvious error and recommended a Video Review.

However, on looking at the footage for himself at the RRA, the referee saw that both players were holding each other initially as the corner kick was being taken. Carlos then pulled Gazdag towards him, turning and off balancing the Philadelphia Union player, who then pulled Carlos as the Orlando City player tried to jump. The referee deemed that the initial pulling offense was committed by Carlos and therefore awarded a direct freekick to Philadelphia Union after review.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick (holding).
Final decision after review: No penalty – direct freekick to Philadelphia Union.
Length of review: 3:19.

PRO’s Opinion: While Gazdag did pull Carlos at the end of the play, the whole sequence needs to be examined to gain the full picture. The initial holding between the players was not something that would necessarily be penalized. However, that changed when Carlos pulled Gazdag, who responded in kind.

PRO would prefer for no Video Review intervention in this situation. Two players were jostling in a situation where not penalizing either player fell short of being a clear and obvious error. However, if a freekick was to be awarded, it was correct that the first pulling offense was penalized, resulting in a freekick to Philadelphia Union.

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