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Poor Sporting KC first half and controversy leads to 0-1 loss in Dallas

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A goal before half for Dallas was the game winner but controversial call prevents SKC equalizer

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

With Sporting Kansas City on their fourth game in eleven days, Peter Vermes changed up several starters. Andreu Fontas got his first start in over a year and Daniel Salloi started for the first time since the knockout round loss in the MLS is Back Tournament.

FC Dallas did not play over the weekend so had a full week of rest and it showed in the first half. The home team controlled possession, created the most chances and shots. Sporting KC had very few opportunities themselves but had mostly limited the most dangerous chances for Dallas.

It took a rebound off a post and back off of Time Melia’s head for Dallas to break through in the 43rd minute. The goal was credited to Ryan Hollingshead.

With an anemic first half and being down a goal, Vermes brought Johnny Russell, Ilie Sanchez and Gadi Kinda off the bench for the second half. Some fresh legs in for Salloi, Espinoza and Gerso helped create some life.

SKC would still struggle to create high quality chances but they were starting to own possession and was putting some shots on frame.

The story that will overshadow Fontas’ start, the lack of goals and every other story line was the waived off goal with 4 minutes left in regulation.

Luis Martins shot was initially stopped by Dallas keeper Jimmy Maurer but the ball deflected back into the box where Kinda tried to pop it into the goal. Maurer made another save, one handed this time but the ball dropped to the side. Kinda quickly moved to it and Maurer threw his body in the way and drug down the SKC defender. Russell popped in and knocked the ball into the goal to level the score, or at least they believed they had leveled the game.

Referee Armando Villarreal waived it off and called a foul on Kinda. VAR checked the play and confirmed the call on the field.

“It’s utterly ridiculous that that’s not a goal,” Vermes told media shortly after the match. “If the ball doesn’t enter the goal, then it should be a penalty for the goalkeeper tackling Gadi Kinda and it would be a red card. It’s a goal or it’s a penalty and a red card for the goalkeeper. The fact that it’s not with VAR and everything else, I can not for the life of me understand how that call could be made.”

Vermes continued, “I was told explicitly by the referee that the VAR evaluated (it) and also called it a foul on our guy. I’m sorry, but on this one, there’s no chance. If you’ve watched it yourself, there’s absolutely zero chance. First off, the goalkeeper parries the ball down so the ball is live. Our guy hits it, it goes underneath him and he tackles our player. I don’t understand where you get the idea that our player is (guilty of) an infraction or violation. I have no idea. Sad, very sad - points taken away from us for absolutely no reason. You let the play go. You have VAR. If you’re actually watching it and you look at it and you have any clue about the game, you understand that it’s one of those things that I said. It’s simple, simple as can be.”

The normally quiet Tim Melia also expressed frustration with the call. “It’s just extremely disappointing. It’s almost as if our PRO organization does not understand the effort that the players, the coaching staff and the organizations make to put a good product on the field. When you watch things like that unfold and you’re just sitting there scratching your head-where you’ve got a system in place that is supposed to review the rules of the game and then implement them correctly, and they just don’t-it’s so disappointing. It’s disrespectful to the work that’s been going on throughout the entire game.”

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Jaylin Lindsey, Roberto Puncec, Andreu Fontas, Amadou Dia (Luis Martins 70’); Gianluca Busio, Felipe Hernandez (Cam Duke 78’), Roger Espinoza (C) (Johnny Russell 46’); Gerso Fernandes (Gadi Kinda 46’), Erik Hurtado, Daniel Salloi (Ilie Sanchez 46’)

Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Matt Besler, Graham Smith, Wan Kuzain

FC Dallas: Jimmy Maurer; Bryan Reynolds, Bressan, Reto Ziegler (C), Ryan Hollingshead; Bryan Acosta (Brandon Servania 78’), Ricaurte (Jesus Ferreira 88’), Tanner Tessman; Michael Barrios (John Nelson 88’), Franco Jara (Ricardo Pepi 72’), Fafa Picault (Thiago Santos 72’)

Subs Not Used: Phelipe, Edwin Cerrillo, Thomas Roberts, Dante Sealy

Scoring Summary:

DAL - Ryan Hollingshead 2 (Bryan Reynolds 2) 43’

Misconduct Summary:

SKC - Amadou Dia (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 42’

DAL - Michael Barrios (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 45’

DAL - Reto Ziegler (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 47+