Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Penalty Drama: Villa Scores Winner in Stoppage Time as NYCFC Stuns Whitecaps 2-1

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Penalty Drama: Villa Scores Winner in Stoppage Time as NYCFC Stuns Whitecaps 2-1

Article excerpt

Penalty drama as NYCFC downs Whitecaps 2-1

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VANCOUVER - Frank Lampard, David Villa and Andrea Pirlo were the focus ahead of New York City FC's game against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night. Afterwards, all anyone was talking about was referee Ricardo Salazar.

Villa scored a penalty deep in stoppage time after Vancouver captain Pedro Morales tied the game on another penalty in the 88th minute as New York City downed the Whitecaps 2-1 in an edge-of-your-seat encounter.

There appeared to be minimal contact -- if any -- between New York City defender Angelino on Vancouver's Kendall Waston to set up Morales' goal, and Whitecaps midfielder Matias Laba seemed to win the ball cleanly off Lampard on the edge of the 18-yard box at the other end on Villa's clincher.

"I think it was two non-penalties," said Lampard, who scored from open play in the first half. "I'll be fair to the ref now because I was ready to be negative about him after he gave their one, but it's not an easy job. I think he made a mistake with their one, and mine wasn't a penalty either.

"I suppose it levels itself out, maybe not in the right way, but I'm sure the referee didn't mean to get them wrong. At least we can say its levelled out."

New York City head coach Jason Kreis, who went from despair to elation in a wild seven-minute stretch that kept his team's Eastern Conference playoff hopes alive, could finally exhale afterwards.

"Mania. Pure mania," said Kreis. "I honestly feel that both penalty kick decisions were very poor."

Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson mostly bit his tongue when asked his view of Laba's tackle on Lampard.

"He's got the ball. I think everyone in the stadium can see it. I don't know if it's a makeup call or whatever," said the coach, before adding later: "The call at the end is ... crazy."

Villa sent Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted the wrong way for his 17th of the season as New York (10-14-7) won its third straight game after Vancouver wasted a number of chances in front of Josh Saunders with the visitors throwing players forward in a desperate attempt to get the three points. …

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