Robinson blasts "awful" penalty decision in Vancouver's loss to DC United

VANCOUVER, B.C.—Two contentious penalties awarded by referee Sorin Stoica highlighted a drama-filled afternoon at BC Place on Saturday, as D.C. United ended a three-game losing streak with a 1-0 victory at the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Stoica awarded D.C. a penalty just past the hour mark that drew Vancouver's ire after Costa Rican José Guillermo Ortiz went down under pressure from countryman Kendall Waston.

"Awful," said 'Caps head coach Carl Robinson. "It's an awful call and it's had a major impact in the game. Usually I don't say or criticize things that officials do as they have a hard enough job, but this official seems to cost us a lot.”

Ortiz, who was fined for embellishment this week following an incident in last weekend's 1-0 loss to the Chicago Fire, helped earn the penalty that Lamar Neagle buried into the top corner, a goal that proved enough for all three points.

"I didn't see the replay of the penalty," said D.C. manager Ben Olsen said. "So I'll not comment on that. That's all I got."

Bill Hamid made four crucial saves as Vancouver peppered the D.C. goal with 22 shots, hitting the crossbar three times and the post once.

Robinson knew that finishing like that meant his side didn't deserve to take all three points, but feels they should still have one.

“We should score one of our chances but I think D.C. United came with a gameplan tonight to try and get a point, and they were gifted three by a wrong call and for me, I could say it's okay, but it's not okay. It's not okay. We're talking about professional sports now, so it's not okay."

Vancouver had a chance to take that point deep into stoppage time when Stoica awarded the 'Caps a penalty after Hamid was adjudged to have gone through Brek Shea on a cross.

Olsen pointed out that his staff was just as incensed on that call as Vancouver had been on the first, only Cristian Techera failed to convert his spot kick.

"If our PK was a little dubious, then it all evens out and the post was on our side today," Olsen said. "Of course I have a problem with the way that the decision went down, but there's nothing I can do about it now. I don't know. I'm not an expert on referees."

D.C.'s gritty performance to take all three points, and record only their second win in their last seven matches, marked a second consecutive victory at BC Place and a fourth trip to Vancouver without a defeat.

Vancouver was shut out at home for a third time this season.

"Sometimes the soccer gods don't look out for you and today was that day,” Robinson said. “I had a feeling in the first half when we hit the post and the bar and missed one or two good chances.

“We're disappointed we missed a number of chances, but when you miss a number of chances and calls are made correctly, we draw nil-nil."