First it was #CornerGate last year. Now this. For some reason, New York City FC’s annual rivalry clash with the New York Red Bulls — dubbed by fans as the Hudson River Derby — has been marred by controversy in the latter’s last two wins.
In the 58th minute of Thursday’s derby, the Red Bulls’ Kyle Duncan fired a shot directly at City goalkeeper Sean Johnson. Unfortunately for the NYCFC netminder, the usually sure-handed SeanJohn had a gaffe as he let the powerful strike from distance trickle off his hands and towards the goal. In a great effort, Johnson was able to seemingly recover from the mistake and prevent the ball from crossing over the line before a poke by Daniel Royer drew a foul call from Allen Chapman.
During what looked to be a routine VAR check, Chapman surprisingly pointed towards the center circle, indicating a RBNY goal much to the anger of pretty much everyone. And from every replay we can find, we don’t see what Chapman could’ve possibly saw that would’ve indicated the ball cleared the goal line.
Ultimately, this goal would be the difference in a 1-0 win in favor of the Red Bulls.
But MLS’s Andrew Wiebe and Charlie Davies aren’t having it. In the last episode of Instant Replay, Wiebe and Davies dissected the play and offered their thoughts on it.
“The ball is a sphere,” Davies emphatically said. “Just because there’s possibly a slight piece of green between the ball and the goal line, that doesn’t necessarily equate to a goal. This is not a clear and obvious error. For me, there is no possible way you can overturn the call on the field.”
Wiebe agreed, saying, “Daylight on the ground does not mean daylight over the goal line... This is definitely a gaffe, but one I think Sean Johnson should have gotten away with.”
Sor there you have it. The Red Bulls’ last two victories against NYCFC have come by way of terrible officiating. And I’ll happily die on this hill.