Seattle Sounders question controversial no-goal call against Houston Dynamo

Nicolas Lodeiro’s stoppage-time goal allowed the Seattle Sounders to escape their Western Conference road showdown with the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday with a hard-fought 1-1 draw.

But should that goal have been the game-winner?

Trailing 1-0 in the 84th minute, the Sounders thought they had an equalizer after midfielder Alvaro Fernandez hit a cross in the direction of rookie forward Jordan Morris, who was crashing towards the Houston goal.

Fernandez’s pass ended up taking a deflection off of Dynamo defender Raul Rodriguez and began to trickle past goalkeeper Joe Willis and into the Houston goal. But Willis reached back at the last possible second to swat the ball off the line and the assistant referee would opt not to award the goal.

Replays, however, showed that the Sounders may have had a case that the deflection crossed the line before Willis’ hand got to it.

Speaking with reporters after the game, Morris said that he thought the ball crossed the line when he saw it live but added that the closeness of the play made for a difficult call for the referees.

“Flaco got down the line and put the cross in and I thought it was coming to me, actually, but the guy got a little toe on it and I think it kind of wrong-footed the goalie,” Morris said. “From my angle, it looked like it went over the line. But obviously it was really close, so it’s tough for the AR to make that decision. It’ll be interesting to see on the replay.”

Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, meanwhile, took to his personal Instagram account to question the call with a visual aide after Major League Soccer's Instagram account mocked him on Houston's goal from Andrew Wenger earlier in the match.

 

Psssst. It's behind you.

A photo posted by Major League Soccer (@mls) on

 

Pssst. It's over the line! @mls

A photo posted by Stefan Frei (@therealstefan24frei) on

It was a frustrating turn of events for the Sounders to be sure. But in the end, Lodeiro’s stoppage time heroics softened the blow.

With Sunday’s tally, the Uruguayan midfielder now has two goals and four assists in five games since joining Seattle in late July, a run of form he’ll look continue as the Sounders head to Portland to take on the Timbers in a Sunday afternoon derby as Providence Park.