HARRISON, N.J. – Bill Hamid’s explanation was short and sweet, even if the debate was not:
“It did not go over.”
No ball went over the goal line for 90 minutes at Red Bull Arena on Saturday. But in the first minute of stoppage time, Brandon Barklage headed Juninho’s corner kick toward the far corner of the goal. D.C. United defender James Riley got the tiniest of touches on it and Hamid palmed it away as it began to cross the goal line. But did he get there before it was completely over?
“It was close,” Hamid allowed when asked about it postgame. “It bobbled around. It ping-ponged, but I got there before it went over the line.”
Barklage was up in arms, jumping wildly after the official chose not to whistle for a goal, and New York head coach Mike Petke stared into the sky in disbelief on a day the Red Bulls could not put a single one of their 24 shots into the back of the net.
And this one, the Red Bulls’ last chance in a 0-0 draw with D.C. United, was the best one. Thierry Henry, who put five shots on frame in vain on Saturday, was standing right on the goal line on the controversial play but could not get a boot on it.
The New York captain left Red Bull Arena without speaking to reporters, but even Petke was in disbelief at his team’s inability to finish – especially on their opportunity to steal all three points at the last second.
“Let me tell you, it sucks to sit back and watch it unfold and say, ‘What the hell do you have to do to get the ball into the net?’” the Red Bulls boss told reporters.
“In the second half, I felt like we got forward very well and created opportunities,” he continued. “There were a couple at the end and, with Henry right there, how did the ball not go in?”