HARRISON, N.J. -- Orlando City boss Adrian Heath gave the Red Bulls all the credit he could for their convincing 3-2 victory at Red Bull Arena on Sunday night.
However, he did lament one thing -- the officiating. And that is putting it lightly.
The English boss minced no words when it came to the controversial call involving his forward Cyle Larin -- a play he says could have changed the "entire complexion of the game.”
With Orlando leading 1-0, Larin was breaking in on goal in the 63rd minute and looked to be tripped up near the edge of the area by a challenge from Red Bulls defender Karl Ouimette, who risked a straight red card. But referee Hilario Grajeda didn’t call for an infraction and opted to allow play to continue.
"Well, I think of games that are really tight, decisions went against us -- again," Heath began. "I think the biggest decision of the night was Cyle Larin fouled. If he was, is [it] a red card? Yes, [it] is. It could have been a big turning point in the game.
FS1, which aired Sunday’s game to a national audience, reported after the match that Professional Referee Organization GM Peter Walton felt that the play should have resulted in a red card for Ouimette, but not a penalty kick. Replays indicate that contact between Ouimette and Larin initiated outside the box.
As for the man who endured the foul, Larin echoed his coach's sentiments and insisted that a penalty kick should’ve been awarded.
"The last few weeks we have been getting bad calls. They have to do better than that ... It's a penalty," he said. "I got in front of the guy, he got in behind me and he banged me down. Obviously it looked like the 'keeper got to the ball first, but I was gone if he didn't take me down.
"I don't know if he couldn't see it, but I was clearly in front of [Ouimette] and gone. He brought me down, the ball was in front of me. I would have scored if I wasn't hit. It's a clear penalty."