Jim Curtin called it “flukey.”
Sheanon Williams said it was “unfortunate.”
And both the Philadelphia Union interim manager and central defender agree the game-winning goal in their 2-1 loss to FC Dallas probably should not have been allowed.
“We were unlucky in that regard,” Curtin said.
The play in question occurred just three-and-a-half minutes into the second half when Blas Perez received a pass at the edge of the box and played a quick ball behind the Union defense to Je-Vaughn Watson.
Watson, who may have been offside, appeared to pull up, allowing Union left back Fabinho to clear the ball – only his clearance bounced off of Williams and into the back of the net for an untimely own goal.
“They tried to play a 1-2 at the top of the box and I thought the guy was offside,” Williams said. “The referee didn’t flag it. It caused Fabi to obviously rush a little bit and he played a ball off my shin and unfortunately it took a bad bounce and went in the goal.”
Curtin had a similar assessment of the goal, saying that it “looked like offsides led to Fabi’s panic.” And because it happened so early in the second half, it forced the Union to chase the game and foil Curtin’s halftime plans.
“We made some adjustments at halftime,” Cutin said. “We’re settled in for the first four minutes. And then that flukey play happens. And the next thing you know the plan is kind of out the window and we’re adjusting on the fly. It was tough.”
That play wasn’t the only time the Union seemed to be upset with referee Edvin Jurisevic. Conor Casey was jawing at him all game, Sebastien Le Toux was shown the first yellow card of his MLS career (for dissent) and Maurice Edu was issued a straight red in the waning minutes for a dangerous tackle.
Combined with some traveling issues (their flight was cancelled Thursday after they sat on the runway for three hours) and difficulties with what Curtin called “the final ball,” the Union were not able to extend their five-match unbeaten streak across all competitions – even though they allowed just two shots on target.
“It’s unfortunate,” Williams said. “I thought we had a good game, especially defensively. We gave up two chances and they scored two goals.”
“We created enough on the road to get a result,” Curtin added. “I thought we deserved at least a draw in the game. But this is the way our league is.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.