KANSAS CITY, Kan. – David Ousted thought he'd made a penalty save to keep his side in the match. Then he found out he hadn't.
Vancouver's keeper got down to his left to stop Benny Feilhaber’s first attempt from the spot, after Fraser Aird brought down Jacob Peterson in the penalty area, but the effort was undone when assistant referee Jonathan Johnson raised his flag to signal Ousted had left his line early, rattled by Feilhaber's delayed run-up.
The 'keeper protested, but to no avail, and Feilhaber converted his second chance to ice Sporting Kansas City's 2-0 victory over the Whitecaps on Saturday night.
“He wanted clarification on the Laws of the Game,” referee Kevin Stott wrote in response to a pool reporter's questions. “The clarification was, is he permitted to leave the goal line if the kicker stutter steps.”
After the match, Ousted – who got a hand to Feilhaber's second attempt but couldn't keep it out of the net – said the Sporting No. 10 illegally stopped during the approach.
“Benny steps up to it and then he stops, like we know he does – but he stops completely,” Ousted told reporters afterward. “I obviously reacted, the way he runs up to it. So I step and dive, and then he puts it into my path, and then he calls me for being off the line – which is, I believe I am a little bit off the line, but the thing is, if Benny does the stop there completely, I have no chance not to react to it.
“It's a bad call, but nothing we can do about it now. At the end of the day, I don't know how much it influenced the result.”
There was no discussion after the call as to whether Feilhaber had stopped illegally, Stott wrote.
The call and Feilhaber's subsequent conversion, stopped Vancouver's second-half momentum in its tracks, manager Carl Robinson told reporters.
“You have to be right in these decisions,” he said. “At the moment, I don't think we're getting the rub of the green, being correct in calls.”
It didn't help the Whitecaps, either, that they weren't able to break their road scoring drought – now at 451 minutes after Saturday night's blanking.
“I think we've had a number of shots,” Robinson said. “Today, we didn't test the keeper as much as I'd like. There wasn't that much in the game. There really wasn't. And the first goal of a game is crucial.”