Monday, June 27, 2016

Phantom foul or feeble foul? - Orlando City 3 TFC 2

I had been tipped off and knew to expect something with TFC's road game at Orlando. A Saturday featuring a triple header of Euro 2016 games (winners Wales, Poland and Portugal) also had a family gathering in the evening. The family deal had been made that I was free to watch games all day, but that TFC needed to be on the PVR and watched later.
I arrived home to messages - Did you see that? Give you opinion on that?
So I watched with a sense of anticipation. Or is that dread?
So, for those who neglected to watch, TFC came from behind to tie twice on a steaming hot night in Orlando and seemed on the edge of a point on the road. Then, well into injury time (no complaint there, a water break, the injury to Clint Irwin, plenty of substitutions and then Hagglund going down all contributed to a lengthy time block) TFC's Moor is judged to have "mugged" Orlando's Baptista in the box and Orlando wins on Kaka's penalty kick.

Orlando City's front office might still be in a meeting to determine what they are going to get ref Elfath for an end of season present. We already know the gift that the ref gave to Orlando City.

Game decider - wish Ref Elfath was in pic - his angle would be close to 180° from this one. Wish we had video from this angle - did Moor pull back or was Baptista already leaning?

I have watched the replay a number of times. Granted, the camera is quite a distance from the field and the players and is from the opposite angle from where the ref was observing. Yet Moor and Baptista can hardly be seen as grappling. They move together and then apart. Was it nothing or a veteran defenders super subtle foul?

I have a warm place in my heart for Orlando City Lions. Fans of that team create a video blog of fan interviews and match previews and they invite me onto their match preview video blog everytime OC is to play TFC. They know their sport and they know their team. I can imagine the elation that they felt when, already with 8 ties on the season and surely heading for yet another, Elfath awarded the penalty kick when the mighty beast Baptista went to ground. On twitter, Sam of OC Lions Fans TV says that there was contact, but not enough to fell Baptista. He also felt bad that the Bendik grabbing of Hamilton down the other end was not a call.

I think the final word has to go to Coach Vanney. He has to file that incident away into two folders - future Baptista intimidation and Ref Ismail Elfath cultivation.
Intimidation -TFC will see Baptista twice more this MLS season (and who knows about playoffs?). Baptista needs to get a simple message. Stay on your feet against Toronto. He may be gently persuaded or he might need harsh reminders. This is an area that Damien Perquis can handle well.

If Ref Elfath made a jumpy call and gave a game to Orlando, Vanney has to be firm, but calm. It is not that TFC are owed anything, but a future balance can be sought. TFC does not need another Toledo.

Two TFC goals scored in a game, one from Hamilton and the other from Morrow.
2nd half performance was improved
Osorio and Babouli were moving the ball well late in the game
Hagglund survived a game at right back
Josh Williams picked up the red card for arguing with Ref Elfath. I liked the heat and passion. Send the message.

Clint Irwin injury
Alex Bono debut
Giovinco scoring drought continues

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