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Roy Miller suggests referee bias after controversial penalty call helps Mexico beat Costa Rica

photo by Brad Penner/USA Today Sports


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Calm and collected when he could have been fuming and emotional, Roy Miller was emphatic in saying that there was no foul on the decisive play that led to Costa Rica’s CONCACAF Gold Cup demise.

He also suggested that referees have a Mexico bias.

Costa Rica was eliminated from the Gold Cup in the most controversial of fashions on Sunday night. The Ticos suffered a 1-0, extra-time loss to Mexico in the quarterfinals via a 122nd-minute penalty kick that was awarded for a foul on Oribe Peralta – a foul that appeared to be a dive more than anything else.

With a penalty-kick shootout just seconds away, Miller was deemed to have brought down Peralta on a cross whipped into the 18-yard box. While at first glance it looked like Miller desperately shoved Peralta given the way the Mexican attacker fell to the ground, replays showed that was not the case. There was minimal contact from Miller, but nonetheless Mexico was given a chance to win the game and Andres Guardado took full advantage by slotting home the penalty kick.

For Miller, there was no doubt that Peralta “exaggerated” and flopped on the play. Even so, the 30-year-old defender was not surprised to see El Tri win the call, which was made by Guatemalan head official Walter Lopez after conferring with American assistant referee Eric Boria.

“It’s Mexico, the referees always here and there,” said Miller before pausing and changing his thought. “What I ask is if this would have happened against Costa Rica, would the linesman make the call? Or on the play by (Joel) Campbell in the first half? Or the play by Elias (Aguilar) that the same Peralta came in and lunged at his ankles with both legs and gets a yellow card?

“These are things where we say, ‘Hey, we already know all about this.’ But we’re going to moving forward, we need to note the strong performance from all our players, and keep our heads up because I thought the team played well.”

What bothered Miller and his teammates even more was that Lopez initially signaled for a goal kick on the play after the ball bounced out of bounds. Lopez, however, appeared to change his mind when he saw Boria waving his flag on the near sideline.

Miller did not refute making contact with the airborne Peralta on the play, but also did not understand how Lopez could overturn the call. Miller said he thought Lopez was closer to the play than Boria, and was so initially dumbfounded by the decision to award a penalty kick that he went over to Boria to ask who had committed the infraction.

“In the penalty area there’s always going to be contact, it’s natural, but there was never any push on my end. I didn’t stick my foot on him,” said Miller. “He took a dramatic fall, and the referee signaled for a goal kick. We all saw it. Not even Mexico was complaining.

“But the referee looks at the linesman and the linesman calls a penalty kick. We were left to ask, ‘What’s going on here?’ These things happen, but it’s an injustice what they did to us in the last minute.”

Miller repeatedly pointed to the replay, saying that anyone who was unsure whether he committed a foul could look there for a clear answer. He also questioned how Peralta remained on the field that late in the game given that the veteran striker had committed a two-legged slide tackle on Aguilar near midfield 10 minutes prior.

In any case, Miller is simply taking this Gold Cup elimination on the chin. He wishes things would not have ended in the manner that they did, but is not going to dwell on the outcome.

Not when Costa Rica held Mexico scoreless for 121 minutes, and not when penalty kicks – uncontroversial ones – were looming.

“I’m calm because, for me, I know it wasn’t a penalty kick,” said Miller. “Obviously, I’m hurt because of what happened in the last minute when the game was almost over, but we’re going to keep moving forward. Things don’t end here.”


  1. This is the stupidest debate I have heard… No one is asking for Instant Replays on every play or changing the integrity of the game. You morons can honestly say that allowing the ref to watch a replay of all penalties whistled won’t help to avoid bs calls like the one CR suffered last night?… If u can’t see that helping you are a retard and ur opinion doesn’t matter.

  2. Sad that another major concacaf game is decided by the officials. Not sending Peralta off for his attempt to injure was inexcusable.

  3. not a PK, not a dive, FMF didn’t pay for the result, etc. it’s the refs, both of them involved on this play, absolutely blowing it.

  4. What’s with the troll creep on this site? It’s great to have fans of different countries and clubs but bring a sensible opinion not the same tired put downs and excuses.

  5. Okay, first things first. I know Eric. Grew up with the guy and his brother (am still good friends with his brother) and watched him play his high school ball. Funny enough, I got to see his MLS debut in DC – which was fun. He’s a good guy who has worked extremely hard to be in that position and to be named one of the best in the United States (he was named an alternate to the last World Cup).

    From the angle he was in (after watching and rewatching from the angle in which he had on the play), it would be hard to for him not to call that foul. Both players’ backs were turned to him. From the sideline, it appears that Miller’s elbow protruded into the Mexican Player’s stomach causing him to flinch like a gut punch normally would. It was a clear goal scoring opportunity. You add those two things up? You call it, express what you saw to the head ref, and then let the ref make the decision. Remember, he’s just an assisting. If the ref didn’t feel like it was a foul, then he could have over ruled him.

    Finally, if you really want to make an adjustment to the officiating (i.e. replays) without having replays, then we need to increase the amount of individuals on the sidelines. Right now there are three. Increase that to five or seven. You’ve got the three existing, add to more side refs so that you get a perspective of plays – especially in the box – from both sides and then two more end judges to provide a final eyes on the play (these guys would never move and would allow for on the spot viewing instead of the head ref trailing and side refs 20-30 yards away from plays in the box).

    • He’s not supposed to call a foul because he *thinks* it might be a foul – he’s supposed to call it when he *knows* it’s a foul.

      • And I’m sure that’s exactly what happened…he was sure it was a foul. Unfortunately, he was wrong.

    • “Remember, he’s just an assisting. If the ref didn’t feel like it was a foul, then he could have over ruled him.”

      He could, but he won’t. That contact with the arm occurred out of the C’s view (screened by the players), and AR1 is the only guy who can see it.

      As for Additional Assistant Referees on the goal lines: UEFA uses them in some competitions. They help. I’m not sure adding additional ARs on the sidelines would help. For one, you’d have to figure out how to deal with offside calls with to ARs on opposite sides of the field. Secondly, how does this affect the C’s diagonal and the C/AR areas of control. It’s probably worth examining.

  6. Of course there was gonna be Mexico favoritism. If they got knocked out this early, the media outlets and merchandisers would lose out on a ton of Mexican eyeballs and money because the latter will simply stop watching the tournament. In the end, it never mattered how well Costa Rica played or not: Mexico was going to win regardless.

  7. It was a bad call. Plain and simple. Both teams had many chances to win the match and didn’t take the,… who cares.

  8. CONCACAF is corrupt. No reason to think it doesnt extend to the games in situations where certain outcomes are going to make more money for the organization and its business partner.

  9. Adam M. +1. By just reviewing PK and red cars, the came should not be slowed down. In regards to the fact Mexico out played CR but could not finish to put them away is irrelevant. The game was decided by a bad call In the last minute of extra time. As said before, 2015 it is just common since to review it. Even tennis which is an internaltional sport uses technogy to review whether the ball was in or not.

  10. There was enough contact to be considered a pk. You wouldnt know anything about the rules cuz you haven’t been fans of the sport for more then a week now. Didn’t the U.S make C.R play in the snow?

    • Actually, been a fan of the game for 25 years. Still learning, but not exactly wet behind the ears, either. Most of the contact was actually Peralta throwing his legs into Miller. Which Peralta doesn’t do until it’s clear the ball’s too high for him to get to. Sorry to burst your Mex-o-centric bubble, but there’s no where in the world that’s going to call that a penalty without nearly everyone saying they were wrong afterwards.

      • Look at the video again and watch Miller kick Peralta’s legs three times including one that launches Peralta’s legs up in the air. That’s why Miller fell too. It may have been incidental but if you are chasing someone in the box and run into their legs while pushing them, you’re gonna get called.

        That was about the least embellishment I have ever seen on a play like that in CONCACAF.

      • Get out of here with your irrefutable evidence. How are we supposed express our small minded outrage after you post that vine? You must not be American.

      • Watch it again. I know slo mo can make it tough to judge how hard contact is, but Miller knees Peralta’s leg hard enough to send it up.

        Let’s try an experiment. You run full speed and get ready to jump. Just as you get ready to jump I will push you in the back and kick the back of your leg. Let’s see where you legs end up.

        I think the leg contact was incidental with both players watching the ball, so whether that makes it a penatly or not is a good question. But it wasn’t a flop. Yes, it is a miracle that it wasn’t a dive, but it wasn’t.

      • Agreed it wasn’t the dive that many are claiming it was. But contact like that on a 50/50 ball should also not be a PK. And the fouled player should have been sent off 10 mins earlier. VERY tough call to swallow if you’re CR.

      • Bedoya didnt get this call and there was a gross amount more contact. Defending bad calls to be contrarian is tired at this point

      • Mouf, won’t let me reply below, so adding this here. Not being contrarian (I’ve got enough life outside of SBI and soccer that I don’t need to play games in comment threads) or defending a call. Simply making the point that it wasn’t the flop that everyone says it is.

        And to Wispy’s point below (won’t let me reply to that one either), agreed that Peralta should have been in the stands after his kung fu tackle.

      • I thought it was a dive live and I think it’s a dive in slow motion. Peralta jumps off the “kneed” calf and flings his legs out. If you watch the AR during the mass confrontation, he’s indicating with his arm that he called a push or strike. Even he disagrees with your explanation, and he made the call.

      • I’m saying that I wouldn’t have called it looking at that angle. Walter Lopez wouldn’t have, and didn’t, either. He’s already falling backwards when he jumps, not because he’s been kicked, but because he’s trying to stretch back to a lofted cross that’s behind him.

      • I agree that the various angles make it look like it wasn’t a dive– the cross is behind Peralta and he’s pulling his head and upper body back towards it while he’s mid air. Look at the track of the ball and you’ll see.
        It’s an awful call for a PK because all the other angles show you how light and incidental the contact was. Totally incidental contact, which is why the ref’s first instinct was to let it go.

      • Mason, fair point that the AR or ref probably didn’t see the legs tangled up, which makes that call that much stranger. But are you saying that Peralta’s leg wasn’t kneed just as he jumped or that being kneed like that wouldn’t make his leg fly forward while he was off balance in the air? Miller drops straight to the ground because the impact to the leg was substantial.

        Again, I’m not saying the refs saw it slow mo from multiple angles or saw the legs at all, or that it would be a PK if they did. Or that Costa Rica would have gotten the same call. And I hate diving. But it wasn’t a dive and he didn’t embellish because he didn’t have time. Other than any rolling around after the play. Can’t remember that part

      • I”m saying it doesn’t matter because he was already jumping and leaning back. Look at where his left (non contacted, non launching) leg is when he launches. It’s already way out in front of him because the ball is behind him. Contact or no, he was never going to get to that ball, and he was always going to end up falling on his butt.

        It was a heck of a dive because it manages not to look like one. It just looks like a player trying to play a ball behind him and getting his legs tangled up. But make no mistake: as soon as the ball was going behind him, Peralta kicked his legs out and “accepted” all the help he could get.

      • honestly, this just makes me think no PK even more. CR annoys me, so i’m not saying this simply because it’s Mexico. it’s just not a PK.

    • Since you other point has been addressed, I wioll respond to the US made CR play in the snow. The game was scheduled for Denver because later that week the US was playing Mexico in Mexico, so they wanted to spend enough time at altitude to get acclimated for the game at Azteca. In fact, before that game, when venues were being discussed, I recommended on this site that they play in Denver for that very reason. Weather was never considered as an issue, only altitude. Of course altitude also somewhat benefited the US players, but that happens many places in the world (see Bolivia). If you have lived in Colorado, as I have, you would know that in March, when the CR game was played, the weather can be sunny and 60 degrees, 40 to 50 degrees and raining, or snowing and 25 degrees. It could also be overcast and most any temperature. The blizzard that fell was unusual, since most snowfalls at that time are usually fairly light. So, there was no way that the US expected or intended to play in that snow. If the game had been played a day earlier, there was no snow.

      • ” If you have lived in Colorado, as I have, you would know that in March, when the CR game was played, the weather can be sunny and 60 degrees, 40 to 50 degrees and raining, or snowing and 25 degrees. ”

        In Colorado, I’ve seen it do all these during the same day.

      • And it’s not unusual. A friend once told me, “You don’t like the weather? Wait 20 minutes.”

    • Stop with this nonsense about people on this site being novice in the sport.

      I cannot speak for everyone but I’ve been posting on this site since before Chance Myers got selected 1st overall in the MLS Draft, and a lot of the other posters have been posting here just as long. Just in case you don’t know when he was drafted that was early 2008, so many of us here on this site have been watching and commenting on this site for over 7 years and we have been watching soccer for much longer.

      TwoSevenStreet, formerly BrooklynFC an SBI Mafia Original

  11. ” Not even Mexico was complaining.”
    They were. Peralta immediately called for a pk and the whole bench jumped up.
    “Miller did not refute making contact with the airborne Peralta on the play”
    That’s called a pk.
    “What I ask is if this would have happened against Costa Rica, would the linesman make the call? ”
    Hard to say since C.R. wasn’t even making it into Mexico’s box enough to give the linesman a chance to make a call.

  12. A little off topic, but does anyone have any info on the Cubans that defected? My heart breaks for those guys. I’m guessing they’re going to try and play in NASL or USL.

  13. Mexico out played C.R even the Costa Rican coach said they lacked attack against Mexico. Look at the stats. I find myself hating club america at times especially when they are playing great because I’m a Chiva but give credit when its due. Who ever says that c.r got robbed just didn’t watch the game but watched highlights on ESPN.

    • But the final score was a direct result of the bad call. Mexico may have been the better team over the course of the game, but the win is the result of that bad call. Whether luck or skill got Costa Rica to the place they were when the call was made, the bad call is inexcusable.

      • The game was riddled with bad calls for either side. The should have been 2 pk for Mexico one vela and other for aguila. Peralta should have been sent off with a straight red. Three corners not given to Mexico. Terrible officials but thats the way it is. Any real football fan would tell you that “that’s football” but crying isn’t going to solve the issue. C.R didn’t attack so who should win – the more aggresive side or the conservative?

      • It is the mentality you exhibit that needs to be changed first. If we simply accepted “that’s just the way it is”, because “that’s life”, women wouldn’t vote, slavery would still be legal, child labor would still be abused, and so on.

        Passive acceptance is part of the problem.

      • “C.R didn’t attack so who should win – the more aggresive side or the conservative?”

        Care to show me where in the rules it states that the side that “attacks” more wins?

        The last I checked the side that scores more goals wins.

        If you don’t like it change the rules. Have a panel that awards style points. That way Barca can go undefeated without ever having to score.

      • Actually, I thought Vela and Aguila both deserved yellows for dives on the two plays I think you’re talking about. I was commenting consistently from about the 70th minute on that Mexico does the same thing every time they’re out of ideas and in need of a goal – they start flopping to the ground anywhere near and in the box. I counted no less than 7 cases I thought were worthy of a yellow for simulation. This is, of course, why they do it, because it works often enough for them.

        I don’t think we should stop the game in the middle, but I do think ref’s should be required to review plays after the game and give out yellows for simulation. I think the education for the refs alone would change how they called the game, but I also think the risk of missing the semi or final match would be enough to lessen the amount of dives.

      • After the ref gave Joel Campbell the yellow for simulation, he had set precedent. He should have given a couple for flops on Mexico as well. I don’t think 7 were cardable flops. For instance Peralta’s flop in the box is not cardable. There was contact. It is a flop that good ref doesn’t call.

    • no one is arguing CR was the better team, they weren’t. but THAT call, which gave the win, DID rob CR of PKs. sure, they could have missed every one of them…but the point is clear. it was truly awful officiating. No era penal, amigo. i think the reaction we are seeing is because this is ALWAYS happening in CONCACAF.

      personally, i think this is the bad karma Campbell gained when he won an Oscar after getting Besler a red for literally nothing.

  14. All called goals, penalties and straight red cards should be reviewed. Play is fully stopped in each situation anyway, so there is no argument about disturbing game flow. For goals, the review should include whether the ball was over the line (absent goal line technology) and whether the goal-scoring player was onside. For penalties and straight red cards, the review should include the power to withdraw the given penalty/card and award an appropriate card for diving if warranted. This is common sense in 2015. I would not review any yellow cards during the game because doing so would be too disruptive to game flow. The difficult in-game question arises for “uncalled goals” — offside calls on goal scoring plays. If the “goal” is waved off for offsides, the keeper would normally restart play immediately, so stopping for a replay would disrupt the flow. The solution — review “uncalled goals” during game play. If the goal should have counted (no offsides, ball over line), simply award the goal at the next natural stoppage (e.g., the same circumstance you would allow a player change), but don’t move the ball back to center — just let the game contine.

    • You can watch the replay of this penalty all you want and you can clearly see Roy Miller extending his arm and having it on a player in the air. If you want to stop the game for a few hours or days I guess you could analyze the impact of the amount of pressure that was applied and determine how that would impact the movement of the player being touched.

      I would actually recommend you just watch a different sport that stops a lot to look at replays. You have plenty of options.

      • The extended arm was what the AR saw and called. It still didn’t affect Peralta in the slightest. That was the diveiest dive to ever dive and it was a dive from the moment he left his feet. Roy Miller got caught being lazy at 122′ with his arm on a player in the area and was called for it.

      • If the ref called the penalty based on your description of it, then it would take seconds to confirm that via replay. It would take less time for a booth offical to confirm the call than it does for a substituted player for a winning team to stroll off the field. If the accuracy of game-defining moments in a sport I love can be improved with a few seconds of video scrutiny during a time when the game is stopped anyway, that’ll make for a more fair result and provide less incentive for diving and embellishment. As long as we are making recommendations, I’d recommend that you join us in 2015 instead of hanging on to the supposed purity of the prior century.

    • Unfortunately, in this case video replay wouldn’t be able to overturn it. It is a judgement call of “how much force”. Zero contact could and should be reviewed, but slight contact, is always debatable. Nothing could be done to fix this errant call with video. It is up to the head ref to make the right decision.

      • The “right decision” here was to defer to the referee who had a better view of the potential foul: AR1. The fact that AR1 was wrong on further review doesn’t make C’s decision wrong. C was uncertain and AR1 had a better view and was certain. C will defer in that situation every single time.

  15. Its amazing to me that there is an actual site dedicated to the sport I love and grew up playing that lets you give your opinion with out any knowledge of the sport. Shame

    • chivalife, could you please post a link to the website that you are going to launch?

      You know: the one where those who you feel are less educated can become better informed and where you, oh guru of gurus determines who is fit to post or not?


      • You’ll be the first to know. But do me a favor and watch just one games first so you know what a soccer ball looks like.

      • Get told you have a thick Mexican accent much? I can read it in your typing amigo. An American gifted Mexico another match against Panama. I’m betting on Panama. Buena Suerte!

      • chivalife will be the judge as to whether you have enough knowledge of his game.

      • Well that’s a relief.

        Perhaps he can get the official sanction of FIFA as a standards monitor or something. Maybe he can even get personal instruction from Sepp himself..

    • Your bias was obvious from the first few posts you made here and anything that contradicts that bias, never mind the facts, is invalid in your eyes. That is called being a delusional ideologue, or maybe an arrogant prick. Come back when you join the reality based world. Here’s a clue–if over 90% of people agree on something and you don’t,chances are that you are wrong.

      • “if over 90% of people agree on something and you don’t,chances are that you are wrong.”

        On SBI?

        over 90%% of the people here:

        Wanted Bradley fired.

        Thought BB only played Mikey because he was his son

        Thought Beckerman wasn’t good enough to play international football

        Thought DMB could not play left back

        Thought Jermaine Jones should not have made the World Cup team.

  16. As has been the case with Roy Miller in MLS playoffs, he continues to make bad decisions in the final third. He shouldn’t have made that much contact on the play that was called a PK.

    • I told everybody watching with me right after it happened that it could only happen to Miller! He is by no means a bad player, but bad stuff seems to happen around him. Especially in big games.

  17. how many fans at that game? (i think the stadium was packed.)

    with gate receipts well over $2M and who knows how much in merchandise revenue, its got to be tempting to someone to put mexico through. this whole affair smells of back room cigar smoke.

    quozzel is right, there are ways to get the refs to do tge right thing. but i’m afraid we’re going to have to do a house-cleAning first.


  18. Quozzel is correct. Rob your point is ignorant. All penalty kicks and red cards should be reviewed. This would cut down or eliminate diving in the box. It would help the actual play determine the outcome and not the ref.

  19. In addition to the phantom pen and the missed red on Peralta, there NEVER should have been that much injury time after just 15 mins of extra time. The AR doesn’t get a chance to blow that call if the ref does his job and blows the whistle at 120, or 121 at the MAX. I was looking at the ref during that last attack, and he wasn’t even looking at his watch. Insane.

    • Costa Rica got ROYALLY CONCACAF***ed.
      The Mexican commentators on Univision agreed it was at best very weak penalty call, while having a hard time masking their glee at the fact that Mexico was getting a chance to end the game with no seconds on the clock.
      Hristo Stoichkov who has learned Spanish and was doing color commentary said Peralta who drew the penalty should have been red carded out of the game 5-10 minutes earlier with that vicious two footed tackle from behind, but that, “that’s soccer for you.”
      Ramirez, one of the Mexican commentators referred to the refereeing as “MPP.” Malo, Pero Parejo!” Bad, but evenly bad. But that was 10 minutes earlier right after Peralta’s killer slide tackle. Then there was that stupendous Italianate operatic, tele-novela stye, melodramatic flop by Peralta in the 6 yard box area. A flop the referee saw through, and ignored, while calling for a goal kick. It was the asssistant ref, an American, 30 yards away with a poor sight line on the “foul” who insisted it was a penalty worthy offense and got the ref to reverse his initial decision for a goal kick.
      That just means that Mexico is living on borrowed time, stolen karma.
      Arguments have been made that because Mexico looked more dangerous in the second half, they deserved to win. You could, with equally faulty logic, say that because Mexico blew 4-5 clear chances on goal and failed to convert, they deserved to lose.
      The arguments for goal line technology, two challenge flags per game for the team coaches, video review for game changing calls like this are all rather sound (goals, offsides, grievous fouls or simulation inside the penalty area, etc.). Retroactive reds and yellows for diving, simulation and fouls with intent to harm might be going a bit too far, but are also worth considering. Don’t hold your breath guys. It won’t happen anytime soon.
      The bottom line is that the referee(s) should not get to be the one who decide a game of this importance, at that point in the game. Roy Miller is right. CR wuz robbed.

    • yup…one of the bigger issues here is play was continuing 2 minutes after 120′. why?! there was no reason for that. yes, after the non-red on Peralta, there was time ticking with no ball in play. but the reason for that was because CR was mad the ref missed a clear red! so then he adds on 2+ minutes of stoppage time and awards a game-changing, soft PK in the 122nd minute after initially saying goal kick. makes no sense. the last five minutes of that game were shameful from the refs.

  20. This is the argument that has gone on for ages but the tournament officials should be able to review dives after a match and issue yellow or even red cards. This dive changed the tournament so I would be for a red card.

    • We already have the answer to this…it’s called challenge flags and instant replay. Or better yet, just have automatic instant replay…if there needs to be one, the booth signals down to the ref that there’s going to be a review.

      Some calls you just gotta get right because of how important they are, and in those cases, each coach should have up to two challenge flags they can use to ensure they are gotten right. Then it blips on up to the replay booth. Humans make mistakes…but the camera doesn’t lie.

      NFL and college football has already figured it out; why not use what obviously works? In this case, instant replay clearly would have delivered the appropriate result.

      If there’s a knock on soccer, it’s that WAAAAAAY too many games are decided by missed ref calls. We’ve got the technology to fix it in major events; why aren’t we doing it? Tradition?

      • We should also add 2 min. penalty boxes, 25 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct and commercial breaks every 35 seconds….. This is why I love international tournaments, It brings the ignorant and the crazies out of the woodwork

      • +1. Unlike NFL and college football, soccer doesn’t allow advertisements to dictate the game. This is why their 45-minute halves don’t last 3.5 hours.

      • The problem is that we can’t pretend that the replays do not exist, eapecially when they are shown to the fans in attendance at the game.

        All sports change over time, and soccer needs to make some kind of change to diminish egregious mistakes.
        Perhaps the fourth official can have that power on plays in the box. i don’t know. The problem is that instant replay already exists, with multiple camera angles and we still exist in a system that pretends it does not.

        In the very least, after game reviews of diving and violent fouls should be instituted. Otherwise we are choosing to reward diving, and are passively encouraging its practice.

      • Totally agree. In this case, I would suspend Peralta retroactively. It would not change the outcome, but might help reduce similar behavior in the future.

      • He didn’t suggest any of that, did he? That’s just you being an asswipe.

        Just because something has always been done, is not a rational reason to keep doing it. In the decades I have been watching and playing, crap calls like last night have happened often. They undermine credibility of officials, legitimacy of victors, and credibility of the sport.

        It is debatable what form reviews should take; however, in a sport often decided by one goal, controversial calls that substantially influence the outcome should be reversable. It’s just logical, and fixing the status quo is just the sporting thing to do.

      • Uhm…I’m a USSF youth coach. Condescend elsewhere.

        I’m hardly suggesting commercial breaks.

        I am suggesting we use a proven system to prevent the most glaring reffing abortions from completely ruining matches.

        There’s always a break anyhow while people stop to argue about a call and then dramaticize for awhile anyhow – in which time, of course, the ref never changes the call – I’d rather suggest something more…constructive, to the aggrieved party.

        BS calls are not part of the allure of soccer. We can fix what happened last night. How much would this have benefited Mexico in the last World Cup? They got jobbed by a Fred dive against Brazil, another by Robben against the Dutch, and had not one but two legit goals called back against Cameroon.

        But yeah, let’s let all that stand, for no good reason.

      • Well it doesn’t benefit them this time, so that explains that. Maybe he can go back to throwing trash as the Trinidadians instead of commenting on soccer sites.

      • Yes. The people who want to introduce minor changes so that games can be decided properly by the athletes on the field are the crazies.

      • “Some calls you just gotta get right because of how important they are, and in those cases, each coach should have up to two challenge flags they can use”

        That is not true.

        You have no idea if a call early in the game is going to be more important than a call late in the game.

        For example a second yellow late only matters if that player got the earlier yellow when it did not seem so important.

      • Be harder to fix that kinda stuff, yeah. But instant replay would have fixed last night. Woulda fixed a lot of the more glaring bad calls Mexico suffered in the last World Cup…and a lot of the ones we ourselves have suffered in the past.

        Won’t solve everything, but it’ll solve a bunch.

      • +1 to quozzel’s comments. But there is a different way to punish diving and fouling, independently of action on the field. It is perfectly possible to review calls and non-calls after the game by a panel of officials that are empowered to hand out reds and yellows after the fact. Dives are a lot easier to spot, and ones that people “get away with” can be gradually reduced. It’s tougher in reduced-time one-off competitions, but in a league season, the method can work very well and reward players who prioritize building their athletic talents over their acting ones. And yeah, back to topic: Costa Rica got robbed.

      • Sorry, but more value is added to sports by having wrong calls than by getting it right all the time. Think about how many words and passion will be generated by this call… all those feelings (WE WERE WRONGED) among Costa Ricans… the sly glee for Mexicans. That is what makes people fanatics, that is the glue of the relationship between you and your team… and ultimately that is what makes for bitter rivalries.

        The additional news coverage alone is worth more to fifa/concacaf than a correct call in that situation.

        No, I fully disagree about instant replay. CR got robbed. that is good for the sport. Also, Instant Replay would destroy the flow of the game, and totally change the ref/player dynamics. That is a wonderful part of the game, lobbying for your team, trying to get the ref on “your side” for 90 minutes, s you get the call you want at the end… its all part of what makes soccer beautiful.

      • Meh. Call me stodgy, then. I like fairness.

        I hate bad refs. My teams have gotten robbed so many times it makes my head hurt to remember them.

        I do not remember them as “part of the beauty of the game”.

      • I’m totally against replay in soccer, heck I’m against it in Football. All it does is slow down play, and half the time you don’t agree with the replay conclusion anyway. These calls have a way of evening out over time. However, I am not against updating the sport, goal line technology is awesome, and I support the extra goal line official they have experimented with who probably would have had a better view of this than the linseman and gotten the call right. I also fully support retroactively punishing players who blatantly dive and feign injury, though it is a fine line because embellishing a foul that actually happened to convince the ref to blow the whistle is at times a necessary part of the game.

      • Quozzel,

        Im not saying I like bad refs… (Why do we have such crap refereeing anyway?) or that you should like getting robbed. I am saying that those feelings deepen your (you in the 3rd person everyone sense) attachment to the game (psychologically speaking) and that FIFA/CONCACAF make more money from controversy than from non-controversial replays, “getting things right”

      • I am a youth referee and I am one who takes knowing the rules seriously and one who hustles to be in position to make the right call. At my age, I no longer do youth games over U-13 because I cannot keep up with the pace of the players to be in position to make the right call (and I do not have to worry very much about 12 year-olds diving).

        Still I make mistakes, everyone does, and at the pace of professional games referees must make mistakes. It is simply impossible to see everything and make the correct decision in a split-second and be ready for the next decision seconds later.

        I,however, do not see how a replay system could be implemented that would not slow the game down too much. The NFL spends way too much time making their reviews, as does College basketball.

      • A bunch of Luddites here. No system is perfect, but having replays would definitely be better. You could limit it to tournament games or, in the case of MLS, playoff games. I have an idea, set up a system to minimize the slow down of the game. Guess what?–that can be done. Here’s a couple of ideas. Limit challenges to one per team per game. Limit challenges to straight red cards and penalty calls. Put a time limit on how long the review will take–such as 1 minute. Anything that can’t be changed in that time, the original decision stands. Maybe you could also have challenges on whether the ball goes over the line or not. Wait, some places already have it and call it goal line technology. I guess you are against that too, because it slows down the game and is progress.

      • Gary Page… I am not a luddite, you seem to be willfully missing my point. Name the WC RD16 knockout games from the 2010 world cup? US Ghana… easy, Germany – UK… why do you remember that game? You remember it because of the phantom goal! otherwise, a random game that would fall away with history… but instead we got a game changing blind referee moment that people still talk about.

        Maradona’s hand of God! another event, 30 years spent discussion it, a moment of soccer lore that doesn’t exist with your replay. And in terms of passion generated, I guarantee SBI got huge traffic from this game and that call specifically. An otherwise forgettable MX-CR game became big news and a generation of CR fans will remember getting screwed.

        That is value for the game, its value for FIFA… and its value to us as fans… sucks to be CR right now. but that is part of the entertainment.

      • Does instant replay take away fan interest from other sports that use it? No. Games should be decided by players, not bad calls by referees. If games aren’t decided by plays and players, why play at all?

      • It’s a tough argument to say that a little bit of fraud makes the sport better. Kind of like saying that you should pay more taxes in order to strengthen your allegiance to the government.

        Too much fraud makes the sport a mockery, and it can lose its fanbase. How much is too much? The tipping point is always hard to know in advance. The fact that FIFA has been balancing that line successfully for a while doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.

        Clear rules and fair application are fundamental to any game. (Maybe it’s the only reason that golf and baseball get fans at all.)

  21. no way in practical terms should an AR overrule a ref in calling a penalty unless the ref is completely out of position. that was no the case here. Miller made contact but not forceful enough for peroata to flop like he did. very unfortunate thwt the game ended this way.

    • Even if the C is properly positioned, he might miss something if he’s screened by players – including the players involved in the play. In that case – like happened here – the AR should assist the C by telling him what is happening outside of the C’s sight. C couldn’t see through Roy Miller to see if there was any contact between Miller and Peralta, so AR1 – who had a better angle to see any contact or lack of – made the call.

      It just so happened that AR1 here was probably wrong.

      • Contact is not a defining factor for a penalty kick. If that were the case, there would be penalty kicks every time there is action in the penalty area.

      • You’re absolutely correct, but the implication is almost the opposite of what you’re suggesting. Most of Law XII’s fouls are of the form “X, or an attempt to X”, thus you you can try to kick/strike/trip/hold an opponent, fail, and still get called for a foul.

        The point I was making is that in this case, the C can’t see what’s happening – if anything – because he’s screened by the players. “Contact” in this context should be read as “interface”, or the place were the two players may or may not have interacted and where one may or may not have fouled the other. If the C can’t see that interface, the C must rely on the AR to make the call because the AR has the better view to make the foul/no-foul decision.

      • This Ref chickened out 10 minute earlier. There was an obvious red card right in front of him and he wimped out. To let this giddy kid with a flag on the sideline decide the game was sad.

      • That “giddy kid” is one step below being in the middle and has probably forgotten more about refereeing than you’ll ever know.

        You sound ignorant when you refer to a FIFA-listed AR in that way.

      • Point well made. I do not think it should have been a penalty. The way Perlata fell was not the fall of someone who had been it. I t was the fall of a diver.

  22. shameful that an American linesman is now part of Concacaf’s dirty lore…if I were Costa Rican I’m thinking it’s revenge for the fake hand-ball call against Berhalter in Costa Rica or last year’s mis-treatment of our team in San Jose after we mistreated them in the Sno-Classico…

  23. Safe to say we won’t see that red again this World Cup. The two footed tackle was shameful. He should have been sent off. If the red was going to be chicken to make a decisive call then he can’t let some kid linesman make the call of the game when the head ref had a closer view. Not a foul. Bad call. And concacaf gets more money for it… So that’s the good news.

    • Mexico always gets the benefit of calls. They shouldn’t even be allowed to play home games in front of fans until they prove they can act like civilized hosts, but CONCACAF doesn’t care.

      • what do you mean Mexico always gets benefit calls? Do you not remember in the world cup against Holland they got called an unfair pk to and they did not go attacking the refee after the game like panama did. BY the way this was not a home game it was played in Georgia which is in the USA not in Mexico, if you did not know. Maybe you should check out facts before you open your mouth.

      • jess, i think you should work on reading comprehension.

        this is CLEARLY about CONCACAF games, not the World Cup. what Roy was suggesting, and what this article is on, was that Mexico gets benefit calls in CONCACAF because of who they are. this is easy to understand even if you disagree with it.

        further, chg wasn’t saying the game against COSTA RICA was a home game. that game wasn’t even in Atlanta. what he is saying is that Mexico, in their next home game, should have no fans due to their awful behavior. something that was shown, once again, in Atlanta against Panama. and it’s true. FIFA should ban fans for their next WCQ. if it happens again, banned for 2 games. again? 3 games, etc. it is inexcusable to continue to allow Mexican fans at games in Mexico and the US to throw their trash onto the field at players. it’s an embarrassment and disgrace.

        so before responding to someone and telling them to check their facts, make sure you 1. read the article, 2. comprehend the comment you are responding to, and 3. take your own advice!

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