Any supporters bemoaning the standard of refereeing in English football may want to stop for a second and spare a thought for Mexican soccer fans.
Premier League match officials may not be perfect but they do a decent job in what is a seemingly impossible task – no referee gets every decision right every time. But they certainly do a lot better than their counterparts over in Mexico’s Liga MX, if this decision from the league clash between Toluca and Morelia is anything to go by.
A closely fought encounter settled by a single goal from Diego Valdes of Morelia, the game could and probably should have ended in a draw. Unfortunately, referee Francisco Chacon decided otherwise with a call so stupendously bad, you have to wonder whether there was more to this game than meets the eye.
With the match well into added on time, there was drama when hosts Toluca were awarded a penalty and a chance to salvage a point. Argentine midfielder Pablo Barrientos duly stepped up to take the spot kick, but found his effort saved thanks to a good stop from opposing goalkeeper Sebastian Sosa.
Sosa’s efforts appeared to be in vain though when the ball bounced out to Barrientos, who was able to score into the unguarded net. There was just one problem though: the referee had already blown for full-time.
In fact, he blew up just as Barrientos struck the ball into the goal, in a suspicious turn of events. The incident called to mind Welsh referee Clive Thomas’s infamous decision to blow for full-time during Brazil’s 1978 World Cup clash with Sweden, just a fraction of a second before Zico scored what looked like being a last-gasp winner for the Selecao.
Chacon is well within his rights to blow for full-time but given that it was likely that, if saved, Toluca would have a chance at scoring from the penalty’s rebound, it’s difficult not to feel a sense of injustice. Common sense should have prevailed.
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