NYCFC captain Sean Johnson (left) and Jesus Medina surround referee David Gantar after the game. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
Ronny Deila didn’t mince his words.
“We got robbed by the ref,” the New York City FC head coach said.
Robbed of a goal, robbed of a possible three points at home against Toronto FC in what turned into a 1-1 frustrating and controversial draw at Yankee Stadium.
Deila was displeased by a call from referee David Gantar with his team leading, 1-0, in the 70th minute.
With Jesus Medina standing with his back to the goal, Toronto FC goalkeeper Bono punted the ball from his penalty area. Medina jumped as the ball bounded off his head and into the Toronto FC goal. Apparently, Gantar blew his whistle before the ball entered the net, much to the chagrin of the host side.
Dear @PROreferees ,
— 𝐈𝐀𝐍 𝐏𝐀𝐔𝐋 𝐉𝐎𝐘 (@JOYPAULIAN) May 15, 2021
“We had good control of the game in that time,” Deila said. “I think we controlled it for 90 minutes but then of course we get robbed by the ref, that’s for sure. I can’t understand. The one [thing] I have to say positive to him is that he’s humble. That ‘I did a mistake.’ Ok. But that doesn’t give us two points more.
“I’m proud of the boys, I think they really work hard. We did our task all the time we had against a good team, discipline. We have a lot of changes in the team. Players are coming on doing a good job.”
“I’m very sad and feel sorry for the boys as well because we should have had three points today,” Deila said.
Andres Jasson said he was “disappointed not to get the three points.” He said he hadn’t watched the goal NYCFC conceded and the controversial play.
“I think we feel we should have won,” he said.
After Gantar called the match, team captain and goalkeeper Sean Johnson and Jesus spoke to the referee at length.
NYCFC did not make Medina or Johnson available to the media during the post-match Zoom call, to give their side of the story.