This week we have a special look at the interfering with an opponent decision from Minnesota and three offside flags that coincided with fouls. In two of these sequences the offside decision was the correct re-start and in the other one the foul negated the offside. Were all three correct decision and was the law applied correctly?
The answers to the Why was this Offside? and What Would You Do? from last week and two gems of offside decisions, with only one to be crowned as Call of the Week #29.
Interfering with an Opponent - Minnesota v FC Dallas
This does not happen very often, so it is worth highlighting this week, interfering with an opponent by blocking their movement. In Minnesota v FC Dallas an attacker has moved into an offside position behind the goalkeeper thru dynamic play and at the moment the shot is taken he blocks the keeper's movement, probably unintentionally, but that is not a consideration. The consideration is that he has interfered from an offside position at the moment the shot was made. This is offside.
Which Came First - Offside or Foul
This week we had three situations where an offside decision coincided with a foul, each one was handled slightly different. In two sequences the offside decision was the correct re-start and in one the foul negated the offside.
Offside or Penalty?
Atlanta v Montreal, late in the match, an attack into the penalty area results in a penalty decision for the referee when the goalkeeper tackles the forward. The referee immediately points to the spot, but then sees his assistant's flag. He then has to considered which happened first.
Due to the offside infraction the penalty would never have happened, the forward interfered with play before the penalty. The correct decision is offside and indirect kick restart.
Note: To meet Video Review protocol the restart is delayed to check the offside decision, if it had been deemed an clear error (no offside) the penalty would have been given.
Offside or Serious Foul Play?
Minnesota v FC Dallas there is a thru ball that will result in a collision between the keeper and the attacker. The attacker is late, his tackle endangers the safety of his opponent and he is sent off for serious foul play. However, if you watch the clip closely the flag is raised (about as quick as would be expected) for offside. The serious foul tackle should never have happened - although it is doubtful that the forward had any intention or time to pull out of his tackle, even if he had seen the offside flag.
The correct re-start here is the offside decision, although this does not negate the red card. Serious foul play and violent conduct for that matter, are punishable actions regardless if a previous unseen incident occurred (the offside in this case). Although play was technically stopped for offside, the subsequent misconduct is still punishable.
Offside or Advantage?
In New England v Toronto a forward makes a pass to a teammate that is in an offside position as is fouled immediately after, the referee decides to apply advantage. The forward was surrounded by defenders and the assistant referee cannot tell who played the ball and so he asks for help, correctly holding down his flag until he gets confirmation from the referee. In the meantime and before the referee can answer his AR, he has decided that advantage has not occurred and whistles for the original foul.
Although not visible on this video clip, the AR does raise his flag after the referee's whistle for the foul having received information from the fourth official who clearly saw who last played the ball.
Because the foul occurs before the offside infraction and offside would have negated any perceived advantage, the restart is a direct free kick, rendering moot who last played the ball. The AR no longer needs this information and the referee's decision is valid and correct whether the attacker was offside or not. The AR, realizing this, should not raise the flag for the offside infraction as it only adds confusion.
Why was this Offside?
Most of you correctly identified why the offside decision was correct. Although it appears to be a goal kick, it actually was an indirect kick resulting from a previous offside decision. So why bother putting this clip into the weekly report?
The previous offside decision was a play where the offside player headed the ball over the goal from inside the goal area. The referee could have just as easily given a restart of goal kick as he could offside, no one would have cared or noticed as the restart position is exactly the same. But the far assistant does care and did notice. Before the restart was taken he communicated with the referee to make sure he was restarting with an indirect kick and not a goal kick.
Teamwork and communication are important even on what appear to be simple plays.
Answer - What Should You Do? CHI v DC
You must flag for offside on this situation at the moment it happens and not wait to see what happens. The attacker is challenging for the ball and there is a high likelihood that there could be a collision. The goalkeeper's actions of punching the ball rather that catching it are impacted by the actions of the attacker, who smartly (because he is a lot smaller) pulls out of any challenge at the end.
The referee should not over rule this flag and the assistant referee can see all the considerations for offside without help. Why take the risk of having a goal scored of the following throw in when the offside can be accepted?
The only option for the referee here is to allow play to continue if the keeper had caught the ball or if the punched ball goes to a teammate who has options to play it out.
Winner - Call of the Week # 28 - Tie - Vasoli / Hosking
...and you thought your vote wouldn't make a difference.
Call of the Week #29
There were quite a few good decision in Week #29, but we broke it down to these two gems. Who had the better decision. Klinger who notes onside position on the heel pass or Flectcher who makes two offside decisions back to back.