ORLANDO, Fla. – The Colorado Rapids remained winless following a 4-3 defeat to Orlando City on Saturday, but Rapids head coach Anthony Hudson not only felt his side was the better team, but that they should have had a man advantage as well.
In the 74th minute, Nani went down inside the box from a challenge from Kellyn Acosta, but referee Jair Marrufo kept the play going, causing the Portuguese star to get into with Acosta. The following moments that ensued saw what appeared to be Nani headbutting Acosta twice, but Marrufo opted not go to VAR.
In the end, Hudson was left upset with that decision.
“At 3-2, if we do what Nani does to us, I’m stood here asking questions why we can’t keep our discipline and we are down to 10 men,” he told reporters following the match. “And it seems to be every week and it seems to be where it’s easy for them to, you know for that to happen against us.”
“My guarantee is you’d be asking me about our discipline if we do what Nani does, we’d be 10 men,” Hudson added. “So we’re 3-2, they should be down to 10 men, and we can’t ask any more of the players. They played well, they scored three great goals, very proud of them. Bad goals we’ve conceded.”
Hudson agreed his side gifted Orlando its goals, but went back to the Nani/Acosta incident that he said should have seen the Lions get reduced to 10 players.
“Once again, I have to talk about it because it happens every game. If we do what Nani does tonight, we’re stood here with 10 men and that’s a fact, the bottom line,” said a livid Hudson.
The Rapids are six games winless to start the season, but Hudson continued to move the focus to the headbutting incident from Nani in the 74th minute, suggesting Acosta – who voiced his frustration with the handling of the incident on Twitter – should have simulated a dive to sell the offense from the Orlando winger.
“It’s disheartening and it’s tough when we make the mistakes we made,” said Hudson. “And every week we have decisions like this. Every week, every game. I don’t want to sound like I’m blaming other things but that’s the bottom line.
“If anyone looks at it, the guy that threw attempts to headbutt Kellyn. I think the bottom line is I probably wish… probably Kellyn should dive, probably should have fallen over and pretend he’s been hit in the head, maybe that would have done the job.”