By Ralph Chery, Contributor |
City College keeper Maxwell Berkow appeared to have saved Hunter College’s Mostafa Mosaab 57th minute header in front of the line in their match-up on Saturday at Randall’s Island. The assistant referee thought otherwise, waving his flag for a goal, granting the Hawks a 2-1 win over the defending champions.
After Mostafa Mosaab headed down Jesus Muniz’s corner kick, the head referee didn’t whistle for a goal, but his assistant referee waved his flag. The referee ran to his assistant and after a short talk with him, he overruled himself and signaled for a goal.
CCNY players argued against the call while the Hunter players celebrated their go-ahead, and eventual game-winning goal.
When asked about the goal, Berkow refused to admit that he saved the ball past the goal-line.
“Hunter’s second counted goal was not a goal,” the keeper said. “There was a scramble in the box, I caught the ball, brought it down, did not move it outside the line. The line referee called the play as a goal despite three, four kids being in between him and the ball. There was no movement and he called it a few seconds afterwards.”
“The head ref called it a save originally that decision was changed by this line ref, I don’t understand why but, as I said, we still should’ve won this game, we’re the better team. We let ourselves down, you can’t let a bad call, a bad referee, impact you that much.”
The referee called 26 fouls on both teams combined, including a penalty kick in favor of CCNY in the 32nd minute. The official also issued five yellow cards in the game. Berkow mentioned that the referee made several other bad calls beside Hunter’s second goal .
“There were countless decisions that were iffy,” the senior said. “They happened on both sides of the ball, in terms of stopping play, not allowing fluid play with advantage, they called balls back for fouls that really shouldn’t been after the team retained possession. This happened on both sides so it was poorly called overall.”
Assistant coach Anthony Cornacchia agrees with the poor refereeing the players mentioned, making the remark that his side should’ve coped with it.
“The referees do what they can at their best, we need to adjust [to] how they call the game,” Cornacchia said. “We have to play smart, we can’t just play our game the way we think we know. They may make some bad calls. We have to just continue playing the game regardless to bad calls.”
Entering the game, City was first in the CUNYAC standing, Hunter second. After the game CCNY dropped to third place, while the Hawks replaced them at the top of the conference. This loss also ends the defending champions’ 10-game unbeaten run against conference opponents.
Senior captain Abdul Abulai hopes to get a rematch against Hunter in the playoffs to make amends for the controversial game-winning goal.
“It was a horrible call by the assistant ref for the ball was nowhere to the line,” Abdulai said. “But as a team I think our reaction wasn’t as positive. But we take this loss with dignity because we know what we are capable of. Personally I hope we meet them again in the semi-final or final, and show them real character and soccer.”
*Cover photo by Fiifi Ghanney / CCNY Beavers Soccer