Toronto FC botch penalty kick after passing routine and lose vs Montreal Impact

In one of the wildest penalty-kick sequences in MLS history, Toronto FC managed to throw away a chance to equalize a rivalry match against the Montreal Impact which they would eventually lose. And it also cost them a potential MLS record.

With a chance to tie the match at 1-1 just before halftime, Toronto's penalty taker Alejandro Pozuelo stepped up for the kick, but instead of going for goal ... he passed it to a teammate!

Pozuelo touched the ball forward for teammate Pablo Piatti to run onto the pass and put the ball past Montreal goalkeeper Clement Diop, but the goal was called back by the officials and instead an indirect kick was awarded to Montreal by referee Drew Fischer.

Here's the explanation from the Professional Referee Organization:

Piatti enters the penalty arc (the semicircle "D" at the top of the box) well before Pozuelo touches the ball, thus qualifying as encroachment. Per the IFAB Laws of the Game (page 124), when there's encroachment by an attacking player and the ball has not already entered the goal, then an indirect free kick is awarded to the defending team.

It's as if Pozuelo's shot had struck the post. If an attacking player who encroached touches the ball after it strikes the post, an indirect free kick is awarded.

So it all comes down to Piatti's encroachment before Pozuelo's kick. Had he not encroached before Pozuelo struck it, the sequence would have actually counted as a goal.

PRO confirmed that had Pozuelo shot directly on goal and he scored, then Piatti’s encroachment would have still resulted in a retake of the penalty, as described in the Laws of the Game.

The Pozuelo-Piatti maneuver was reminiscent of the one used by world stars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez while competing for Barcelona in February 2016. And it was also famously used by Ajax national team teammates Johan Cruyff and Jesper Olsen during a 1982 match. But you rarely see it deployed, as players almost always pick a corner or smash it down the middle.

Toronto would not find a way to score for the rest of the second half and the match finished 1-0, a loss that ended TFC's bid to tie the all-time MLS record for matches unbeaten (19). Their undefeated run ended at 18 matches at the hands of their rival.

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