The USL has ordered a USL Championship match to be replayed after a goal was inexplicably disallowed.
Last Saturday's match between Miami FC and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds will resume on Wednesday from the 67th minute with Pittsburgh leading, 1-0. It originally ended 0-0.
Pittsburgh scored an own goal when Jamaican international Devon Williams
played the ball to Miami FC teammate Janos Lobe
on a free kick in the Miami FC half and Lobe's back pass to Connor Sparrow
eluded the Miami FC keeper and rolled into the goal.
But the refereeing crew assumed Lobe was the player who took the free kick and ordered a corner kick, the outcome of an own goal scored directly off a free kick. The USL termed the mistake "an egregious error and misapplication of the FIFA Laws of the Game."
a statement on Tuesday that the goal was wrongfully disallowed and the refereeing crew was removed from its next PRO assignment:
"According to the Laws of the Game: 'if a direct or in-direct free kick is kicked directly into the team’s own goal, a corner kick is awarded.' The officials incorrectly believed that the goal was scored directly from the free kick, which was not the case."
Pittsburgh and Miami FC sit in third and fourth place in the Atlantic Division and have both qualified for the playoffs. If the Riverhounds win the match against Miami FC, they will move to within one point of Charlotte in the battle for second place and a home date in the first round of the playoffs.
The USL Championship regular season ends on Oct. 30.
This is making the best of a bad situation. As a fan of the Riverhounds, I recorded the game and when I saw this, it took me a bit to even fathom how they ruled it a corner kick. I then remembered the extremely rare case of a team kicking a free kick into their own goal, which I've never seen happen. I think the ref got it right initially, the either well-meaning and overly helpful (or extremely evil) AR called him over to remind him of that obscure rule (unfortunately, the 13 second clip shown is not long enough to show that exchange). But even that doesn't make sense, because Lobe kicked a ball that was rolling (so it should be retaken) and he kicked it more than once (which turns over possession), so there were two other reasons they should not have awarded a penalty kick.
Refereeing is hard, since there's a lot going on all over the field, and a lack of attention even for a moment can lead to disaster, as this gaff clearly indicates. Of course, the game was televised so were referees to be allowed to see the monitor, it would have been cleared up pretty quickly. Maybe we should have a system that allows that....
I agree with everything that Kent wrote above. The restart for kicking a free kick directly into your own goal is a corner kick as the article points out. This question was on the referee rules certification and recertification test for years and I thought that I would never see it happen. But it actually eventually happened in two of my games, both futsal games. Unusual things occur on smaller fields indoors.
Another example is the player taking a corner kick replays the ball a second time after it hits the upright of the goal without touching another player so the game is stopped and the restart is an indirect kick for the defending team. Happened a couple of times in futsal and even once happened in one of my outdoor games. All these unusual scenarios and decisions require an explanation to try and get everybody on the same page.
BTW, I like that the Riverhounds wear black and yellow as those are the same colors as the other Pittsburgh teams: Steelers, Pirates and Penguins.
That's embarrassing. Can't believe neither AR advised the ball was not directly kicked into the goal. Good luck getting more matches. Of course, I've made worse.