HOUSTON – Houston's Bobby Boswell put his arm around Montreal midfielder Davy Arnaud as the two MLS veterans walked off the field at BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday night. But just 22 minutes earlier, the two players were on opposite ends of a fiercely debated play.
In the 68th-minute of Houston's 1-0 win, with the Impact hunting an equalizer, Arnaud took a shot that looked to be heading on goal only for Boswell's right arm to get in the way and preserve the Dynamo's win. Arnaud, who grew up just 93 miles east of BBVA Compass Stadium in Nederland, Tex., wanted a penalty kick call that never came.
“For me, it’s a penalty,” the Impact midfielder told reporters. “I think when everyone reacts like that, it’s pretty clear. For me it’s a penalty. Things happen quickly. Maybe [referee Drew Fischer] didn’t see it.”
The Texan’s immediate pleas fell on deaf ears and the Impact saw one of their few, good looks at goal fizzle away.
And while Arnaud felt hard done by, Boswell backed the referee's decision. After the game, the center back claimed the play was legal and he was confident that he did nothing wrong.
“It was one of those where you make yourself big,” Boswell said. “I just turned and I had my arm tucked in and it hit me in the shoulder or bicep area. It was tucked.
“So I know he’s screaming for a handball, but there’s nothing I can do there, it’s tucked into my body,” Boswell continued. “I would’ve been really disappointed if it was a handball on that one.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @DarrellLovell.