New York City FC head coach Ronny Deila was left deeply frustrated after his team surrendered a 1-0 lead at home to Toronto FC and had to settle for a 1-1 draw following two controversial second-half refereeing decisions.
NYCFC's opening goal in the 53rd minute from Jesus Medina looked for a moment to have been added to by the Paraguayan in the 70th minute when Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono's attempted kicked clearance out of his hands struck the back of Medina and found its way into the net.
Referee David Gantar, though, awarded a free-kick to Toronto after ruling that Medina, who jumped in an apparent attempt to block the clearance, had impended the Toronto goalkeeper. Deila was adamant the right call had not been made.
"We get 1-0 up, we had good control of the game in that time and I think we controlled it for 90 minutes," he said in his postgame media availability. "Then of course we get robbed by the ref, that’s for sure. I can’t understand."
NYCFC's disappointment would only increase just four minutes later when Toronto equalized through substitute Jacob Shaffelburg following another hotly debated call from the officials. In the buildup to the goal, NYCFC's James Sands went down under contact from Toronto's debuting substitute Dom Dwyer.
Asked whether his players had let their emotions get the better of them following the no-goal call minutes earlier, Deila instead pointed the finger at a lack of a foul call.
"You have to see the pictures, James gets run down, it’s a free-kick," he said. "So one thing is to do a mistake and I understand people get irritated. It means a lot to us. They are working every day, preparing 24/7 for playing football games and of course when you get robbed in that way then of course you react, that's human."
Still, it wasn't all bad news for the Cityzens. The result leaves them top of the Eastern Conference, for the time being, and without a defeat since the opening week of the season.
"I'm very sad and feel sorry for the boys because they deserved three points today," he said. "Having said that, we haven’t lost in four games, we’ll just keep on working, keep on going and take the positives from the game. And try to improve different parts of it."