For Hernan Losada, the lengthy Video Review that played a pivotal role in his first win as Montréal head coach was “for the beauty of the sport.”
A frustrated Jim Curtin didn’t quite see things that way.
“The word s---show comes to mind,” the Union head coach said.
At question was Chinonso Offor’s 90th-minute equalizer (2-2), headed in following a rebound off the crossbar. The goal was initially called off following Video Review due to offside. But a second check showed Union left back Kai Wagner, who was off-screen on the initial look, was near the goal line, which kept Offor onside.
It proved to be the seminal moment of a match that also had the following to digest:
Chaos reigned supreme at Stade Olympique.
“Goals change games, and obviously once they scored the goal that was a goal, not a goal, then a goal again, they had some momentum for sure,” Curtin said. “It hurts, a little chaotic, much more chaotic than I'd like and we haven't had many times where we've lost leads in the past several years quite like that.”
Curtin said he thought the initial discussion was regarding a possible foul on Jakob Glesnes, but he was then informed it was on a possible offside. He also thought goalkeeper Joe Bendik might have kicked the ball back into play, which would have negated any review.
“I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” Curtin said.
CF Montréal midfielder Victor Wanyama said he pleaded for a second Video Review after he was informed by his team’s technical staff that Wagner kept the play onside.
“I went back to the ref to try and complain, as well I complained to the fourth official. I asked him to just communicate with the VAR and also the ref because there was somebody that hadn’t been picked up by the camera so can you check again,” Wanyama said. “The referee was on point and he went back to check and he made the right decision.”
Referee Nima Saghafi explained the decision in a post-match statement to a pool reporter:
While much of the post-match conversation centered around that moment, what had Losada buzzing was his team’s willingness to continue to press for a third goal, which snapped a three-match losing streak to start the 2023 season.
“The most beautiful thing tonight was when we scored the 2-2, we went for the win,” Losada said. “We really kept on pushing and we felt here we can take more than one point. That's a mentality. That’s football. That’s also the least we can do for so many fans that were tonight present.”