Eduard Atuesta shown controversial red card in LAFC's Champions League game vs. Club America

Eduard Atuesta - red card - CCL vs. Club America

Red-card controversy was at the heart of LAFC’s Concacaf Champions League semifinal Saturday night against Club America, with Eduard Atuesta sent off in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time.

Atuesta appeared to be fouled by Richard Sanchez in the 18-yard box just as the 45-minute mark passed, but no penalty kick was awarded after the Colombian midfielder drew contact.

As play advanced upfield, Atuesta and Club America goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa came together. LAFC’s Atuesta moved in Ochoa’s direction, but replays showed that he made negligible, if any, contact with the longtime El Tri netminder. 

Yet that didn’t stop head referee Juan Gabriel Calderon from sending Atuesta off as Club America carried a 1-0 lead into halftime. Check out the play in question below, where Atuesta was shoved to the ground by Ochoa’s Club America teammates after the theatrics, leaving his team with 10 men.

The tensions carried into halftime, with Club America midfielder Luis Reyes lingering around the LAFC bench. Coaches and players took exception as emotions skyrocketed, creating another potentially explosive moment. Club America manager Miguel Herrera was even sent off and took in the second half from the stands at Orlando City SC's home ground.