Sporting Kansas City defender Ike Opara lost what might have been the game-winning goal May 19 at D.C. United on a call so bad the assistant referee admitted making a mistake after the game.
Flash forward to Sunday’s game against Houston and Sporting KC faced another distressing situation, but this time referee Drew Fischer, who initially called for a penalty kick on defender Oriol Rosell’s 39th-minute challenge in the penalty box, reversed his call after consulting with the assistant referee.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
There was universal agreement after the match that Fischer ultimately made the right decision.
“It was good to see them communicate and talk to each other, because the game is fast and you will make mistakes,” Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen said. “But if you have a chance to make up for it, walk those 10 yards out to the linesman and have a chat with him.”
Even Houston agreed that it wasn’t a penalty.
“To be honest, it ended the way it should have,” Brad Davis said. “Unfortunately for us, I think they got the call right. I thought (Rosell) got all ball.”
Of course, Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear didn’t agree with the way it was overturned, but he wasn’t too miffed after the 1-1 draw Sunday at Sporting Park.
“I think in the end the right call was made, but I don’t agree with the way it was reversed,” Kinnear said. “But I do think it was not a penalty.”
At the end of the day, the players want those calls that impact the outcome of the game to be right, so the both sides ultimately seemed satisfied with the ruling.
“The ref made a mistake when he called, but he ultimately did the right thing,” defender Matt Besler said. “We all understand there’s going to be mistakes and everyone’s human. But on the big ones that really impact the games, we want them to be correct.”