I've let the results of the game settle in knowing that the Sounders lost and won't be going back to the MLS Cup. Yet one thing kept tugging on me about the game. And that is Ruidiaz's disallowed goal in overtime.
The more I thought about it the more that the disallowed call doesn't make sense. And after looking at the disallowed goal replay over and over, I knew my instincts was correct. In that the disallowed goal was a bad call and it should have counted.
Yes the ball did hit his hand/arm but here is why that should not have mattered.
#1) Ruidiaz did not intentionally hit the ball with his hand because his left hand, when the ball hit it, was tucked up against his chest. That should be considered being in a natural position. And because his arm and hand are tucked into his body, then that part of his body is now considered the same as if the ball hits his chest or shoulder. 100% legal.
Normally when a player is called for a hand ball, his arm and hand are above his head or extended outward. His hand was against his chest right before the ball hit him.
#2) Ruidiaz never uses his arm or hand to direct the ball into the net. If you watch the replay, you can see his arm and hand are still tucked into his chest AFTER the ball goes past him.
#3) The defender, Mabiala, got to the ball first and actually kicked the ball into Ruidiaz. Ruidiaz had no way to get out of the ball's way in time because it happened so fast. Because of that, the ball should have normally been considered a deflected ball and no penalty call given.
If this was anywhere else on the field and this happened, as it happened earlier in the game, the referee would have waved it off and ruled it no hand ball and let play go on. And because the ball deflected off of Ruidiaz then the goal should have counted.
Here is the play in a nutshell ->
* Miabala is covering Ruidiaz and is directly in front of Ruidiaz
* The ball is kicked toward Ruidiaz
* Miabala gets to the ball first
* Miabala kicks the ball and the ball flies immediately right into Ruidiaz
* Ruidiaz's arm and hand are tucked into his body when the ball hits him
* Ball deflects off of Ruidiaz and takes two bounces before going into the net
My final opinion is that the referee blew this call completely and the goal should have counted.
When I watched it happen live, my first instinct was that it was a goal. When I first saw the replay I still thought it was a goal because I never saw that Ruidiaz intentionally direct the ball into the net using his arm or hand. I just did not see that.
At the very least, the referee should have ruled it as a no goal but unintentional and not given Ruidiaz a yellow card.
So what you guys think? Am I completely wrong here?