The Philadelphia Union appeared to be on their way to grabbing all three points on the road at Olympic Stadium Saturday night when disaster struck in one of the more bizarre episodes to ever occur in an MLS game.
Instead of collecting three points, they’ll be passing through customs en route to returning home with their second straight loss on the road shaking their heads in disbelief.
CF Montreal found an equalizer in the 90th minute that was initially taken off the board via video review for an apparent offside call but was put back on when reviewed again. Replays showed that Kai Wagner played the CF Montreal player on but there was some question whether the play should’ve been whistled dead earlier in the sequence for a foul on Jakob Glesnes.
Minutes after the equalizer was upheld, the hosts took advantage of a stunned Union team and scored the winner deep into stoppage time to take all three points.
“The word shitshow comes to mind,” Union head coach Jim Curtin said post-game.
“Within all the chaos I had no idea what they were even looking at because they don’t have to explain it,” Curtin added, noting that he thought the review might be for the possible foul on Glesnes and not for an offside before the goal. “Kai does keep them on at the bottom of the screen if that’s what they’re even looking for.”
In what could earn him a fine from the league, Curtin elaborated on the larger ramifications of what transpired.
“We have a job to do as professionals but I also think that anywhere in the world if you look at that game and you’re watching an MLS game for the first time I would just say you wouldn’t be impressed with the chaos if you know what I mean,” he said. “Like when you look at that it’s not good for our league: review, called back, goal, no goal, scramble. It’s not good for anybody.”
CF Montreal head coach Hernán Losada was naturally less miffed by how things went down since his side earned their first points of the season after three straight shutouts.
“Luckily for the beauty of the sport and for us tonight they could come back and make the right decision because at the end they made the right call,” he said.
CF Montreal captain Victor Wanyama said post-game that he saw the replay of the goal on the sideline and quickly told the referee and fourth official they needed to look at it again.
“I think VAR wasn’t picking it up,” Wanyama said. “We had to complain and at the end we are happy that they turned around the decision and gave us a goal.”