FC Cincinnati with referee vs. Minnesota United
USA Today Sports Images

FC Cincinnati say corner kick that led to Minnesota winning goal should not have been awarded

FC Cincinnati were left furious after a controversial decision to award a corner against them led to a stoppage-time winner for Minnesota United on Saturday night.

Cincinnati, who now find themselves stuck at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and five points out of a playoff spot, looked set for a hard-fought point in a stalemate at Nippert Stadium. But as the game ticked into stoppage time, the officials gave a corner to Minnesota despite Cincinnati defender Nick Hagglund protesting vehemently that the ball had last come off Minnesota's Emanuel Reynoso

The protests didn't sway the officials, as the corner was taken and MNUFC forward Aaron Schoenfeld slammed the ball home from close range to give the Loons a 1-0 win.

"Overall we defended very, very well and then you concede the goal from a corner which is not a corner, which I find unbelievable," lamented FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam. "The referees, they're only watching the bench in terms of what we are doing, what we are saying, but they give decisions away, which I think is shocking to be honest and that's costing us."

Those views were echoed by Cincinnati defender Zico Bailey

"I haven’t looked back at the replay, but from where I was standing on the pitch, I think it was clear that it was a goal kick," he said. "It’s extremely frustrating, especially where we are in the season where points are so valuable. When it comes down to something that's such a crucial decision and it's out of our control, it's extremely frustrating but we just have to look toward the next game."

Watch: MNUFC's late winner in Cincinnati

And, despite a feeling that Cincinnati are not getting the rub of the green when it comes to recent decisions, Stam stressed that the team needs to be concentrated on the things within their control, specifically the need to improve on a league-low 11 goals scored in 2020.

"The only thing that we need to focus on, and that's the most important thing, is ourselves in trying to get these goals that we need to score and then the opportunities that we do create," he said.