Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday MLS: Honors even in Florida amid rough officiating

Orlando City 1-1 New York Red Bulls
After a slow start, the Red Bulls went in front after Sacha Kljestan slid a wonderful through ball to Bradley Wright-Phillips, who is remembering that he can score goals again, for the opening goal. The chances were sparse for the rest of the half, but Orlando did come close to equalizing shortly before half time, but a great save from Luis Robles held the game at 1-0.

The Orlando equalizer would show up at the stroke of 66 minutes from Kevin Molino. Cyle Larin set up the goal by corralling a long ball and poking it along to an on rushing Molino, who blasted it home. New York was closest to finding an equalizer in the remaining half hour. As they were doing so, the MLS red card monster made it's less than triumphant return. In the 85th minute, Christian Higuita was shown a straight red card for a sliding challenge. The foul itself was mostly harmless. It was a two footed tackle on Kljestan, I guess. I feel it was another one of those fouls that could have been a yellow and nobody would have really cared much.

The game itself was pretty chippy. There were eight yellows shown and the one red. It was also a glaring example of shoddy MLS officiating. In first half stoppage time, Orlando though they were gifted a penalty, but after consultation with his assistant, Ted Unkel called the play offside instead. Several of the yellow cards were on iffy fouls. Overall, it was another match in a long list where the officiating was pretty bad.

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