NEWS
03/23/2016 17:55 EDT | Updated 03/24/2017 01:12 EDT

Toronto FC still crying foul over non-call in 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City

TORONTO — Three days later and Toronto FC is still convinced a missed call cost it two valuable points on the road.

Toronto lost 1-0 in Kansas City on a 70th-minute Brad Davis goal Sunday, with Davis rounding on goal after going shoulder to shoulder with fullback Justin Morrow, who went down on the play.

For the Toronto camp, it's a foul every time.

"For me it's a foul," head coach Greg Vanney said after practice Wednesday. "And from a refereeing standpoint, it's one of those situations that you make the call and nobody talks about it ever again. You don't make the call and now it's the topic of discussion in a game that was a very good, very tactical game."

Video of the incident has been scrutinized like it was the Zapruder film.

From one angle, it looks like Morrow tumbles after accidentally jamming his foot under Davis' boot as the two run side by side in the penalty box. But that angle obscures Davis' arm, which may have made contact.

"I still think it's a foul," said Morrow, who has reviewed the tape.

"The way I saw it I was in front of him and he stepped on my foot, tripped me. That's a foul," he added. "If  I did that to him in the box, if it was the other way around, it's a 100 per cent a foul."

The non-call seemed to paralyse the Toronto defence. But not Davis who played on, shifted the ball to his preferred left foot and banged it home past goalkeeper Clint Irwin.

"It was a little bit shocking," said Irwin, who pointed to a similar play minute earlier when Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer was called for bundling over another TFC defender.

"I think everybody expected to hear a whistle ... And as soon as you don't you're in scramble mode."

Not surprisingly, Davis saw it differently.

"To be honest, I don't think it was a foul. I think we were just battling there and I got my body in front of him (Morrow) and I was able to take a touch," the veteran said after the game.

The loss was the first of the season for Toronto, after a 2-0 win at the New York Red Bulls and 2-2 comeback tie at New York City FC. Kansas City has won all three of its games.

There was more weekend controversy in Seattle where Vancouver went ahead 1-0 on a Pedro Morales penalty after Joevin Jones was judged to have hauled down Christian Bolanos in the box. The Whitecaps went on to win 2-1.

In both cases, you could be forgiven for being of two minds despite repeated viewings of the incident.

Some see the plays as yet more proof of the need for video review in soccer.

Count Vanney as a supporter of the concept when it comes to plays where the outcome of the game is in question.

"There's a lot riding on the games. It's technology that's used in virtually every sport now," he said. "I think there's a place for it because you never want the outcomes to be decided on a situation that might be questionable. If you can get the right answer on that, then let's get the right answer."

Commissioner Don Garber has said he supports the concept of video replay and told reporters at the MLS SuperDraft in January that he hoped it could be trialed in a lower league.

NOTES: Toronto has a bye during the international break this week before hitting the road again for a game April 2 against the Colorado Rapids ... Toronto defender Drew Moor was back at practice Wednesday after missing the Kansas City game due to the flu. 

 

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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press