Cory Burke got on the end of a through ball by Haris Medunjanin and proceeded to sprint towards Matt Turner’s net. Burke didn’t have any support or defenders, as they were deterred by the linesman raising his flag. Burke didn’t stop, however, and the striker beat Turner to score the game’s only goal. It took a few moments for it to become official though, as referee Drew Fischer had to go to video review.
The whole incident was strange, but the right call was made in the end.
Here's a screengrab of the exact moment when Haris Medunjanin played the ball over the top of the New England Revolution back line that led to Cory Burke's goal.— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) August 26, 2018
It is pretty clear, I'd say, that Burke was onside. pic.twitter.com/RQn4S0tNtu
“The referee, on that occasion, got the play absolutely correct,” head coach Brad Friedel explained. “But it’s a difficult one because as the player hits it, the linesman puts his flag up. When he puts his flag up, all the players stop, including all their players, except for Burke.”
After the game, the pool reporter submitted a question about the event. Fischer explained that it was his discretion to ignore the assistant’s call and let the play continue.
“Following the video review protocol, the play was allowed to continue until the goal was scored,” Fischer said. “At this point the decision on the field was offside. The VAR recommended a review for a goal, and following the review, a goal was awarded.”
The Revs pushed hard to find an equalizer but their efforts wouldn’t produce the desired results. Brandon Bye’s header in the 67th minute was destined for goal until it was knocked away by a defender on the line. Cristian Penilla had a good chance in the 70th minute, but Andre Blake made a diving save. Blake made another big block in the 79th minute when he denied Juan Agudelo.
The game would ultimately be decided by that one odd goal, which was difficult for the Revs to swallow.
“To the letter of the law, it’s a goal, but it’s a hard one to take,” Friedel said. You clearly hear the whistle after the ball has already hit the back of the net. And he was onside. He was onside. They were level. I guess letter of the law you can’t complain, but it’s so hard when you’re a player and you see the flag go up and everybody on both teams stops except one player.”