On Sunday, New York City FC resumed the Major League Soccer season after a break for the Leagues Cup. The Pigeons sadly lost to Minnesota United FC, 2-0. The team played well but failed to score. As such, the same problem that plagued them throughout the year continued to do so.
Still, NYCFC dominated the game. It constantly felt like they could go ahead or tie the game as the fixture progressed. There was even a moment late in the second half where everyone at Citi Field felt the Pigeons had a chance to level the score. The team was awarded a penalty kick after Julián Fernández was fouled in the box by Miguel Tapias.
For a split minute, it was thought that NYCFC finally had a little bit of luck. A goal was not guaranteed, but a penalty kick allowed the opportunity to score. Talles Magno even lined up to take the kick, but everyone's favorite referee, VAR, stepped in.
The referee, Nima Saghafi, was advised to review the call via VAR for a penalty kick. Fans waited anxiously for the call.
NYCFC VAR call was correct during the Minnesota game
Over the last few years, NYCFC has been a VAR victim. Many calls, including ones that could be argued about, were overturned or not overturned at the team's expense. Whether it was an overturned penalty kick due to VAR or a silly red card decision that was not reversed, the Pigeons have seen it all. Overall, the players have had bad luck with the decision-making by the referees.
This time, the penalty kick was overturned. However, it was the right call. Further angles revealed that there was no contact with Fernández. Instead, the new player was a talented actor when he fell. Yes, the decision hurt NYCFC's chance to level the match. However, it was refreshing that the referee made the correct decision after the review of the foul.
Plus, it was nice VAR was used properly during a NYCFC fixture. There are so many issues with it throughout MLS. There are also too many problematic and bad calls made by referees. It would have been nice if the penalty kick would have stood, but that would have been the wrong call. It was clear afterward that there was no foul.
Losing out on points is never fun, but it stinks when New York City FC loses out on points due to poor refereeing or VAR calls. It is better to lose the right way compared to a controversial way. Although, if there were goals from the home side, then the match would have ended differently.