The Washington Post

Video: Goal in MLS match between Chicago Fire and FC Dallas shouldn’t have counted. However.....

Marco Pappa’s goal in the 63rd minute lifted the Chicago Fire to a 2-1 MLS victory over FC Dallas on Wednesday night. If only it were that simple.

The Fire was awarded a penalty kick when Pappa was taken down. On the penalty, Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman stopped Sebastian Grazzini’s attempt. Pappa converted the rebound but was several yards inside the box when Grazzini struck the ball — clear encroachment. The goal should not have counted and Dallas should’ve been awarded an indirect free kick, right?

Our story doesn’t end there, though. When you watch the video below, keep a close eye on the final replay. It shows Matt Hedges of Dallas entering the box early as well. Not as early as Pappa, but early nonetheless. In this case, according to FIFA rules, referee Hilario Grajeda should’ve disallowed the goal and instructed Grazzini to take the kick again.

That said, dual infractions don’t absolve egregious officiating.

On his Facebook page, Hartman wrote: “Man, that guy was so far inside the box, I wasn’t sure which player was going to take the penalty kick.”

(Thanks to Twitter follower ArsenalFire for assistance.)


Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.

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