COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus Crew head coach Caleb Porter blasted Concacaf and the officials following the Crew’s 2-2 draw with Monterrey in the Champions League quarterfinals Wednesday.
Porter called the officiating a joke and said the team of officials was put together at the last minute by Concacaf, which runs the Champions League tournament.
“Why don’t they get the officiating sorted out? It’s a joke,” Porter said. “Shame on Concacaf.”
Porter was extremely upset with a number of calls starting with Crew midfielder Lucas Zelarayan receiving a questionable yellow card in the 12th minute. Zelarayan also received a yellow card in the Champions League round of 16, so he will be forced to miss the Crew’s second match at Monterrey next Wednesday.
“How Lucas Zelarayan gets a yellow card, no idea,” Porter said. “They had six-seven fouls worse than the foul he had and no card and he gets a yellow card. Somebody explain that to me.”
A no call on Monterrey’s goalkeeper taking out Crew forward Gyasi Zardes in the box followed by no video review also had Porter furious with the officials for a second time in the first half.
“It was a clear PK. If that’s not a penalty kick, I don’t know what is. Honestly, I have no idea how that doesn’t get reviewed,” Porter said.
Porter was once again baffled by VAR overturning Bradley Wright-Phillips’ goal in the 71st minute in which the veteran forward appeared to be in line with several Rayados’ defenders when the free kick was taken. Porter was dumbfounded that the VAR official had never worked with that group of officials in the past.
“How is that clear and obvious offsides?” Porter exclaimed. “It’s not off. How do they overturn that call? . . . I knew right then when they said it was going to be thrown together last minute that it was going to be a disaster. How can they do that? Shame on Concacaf for that. That is absolutely ridiculous.”
Porter added the officials missed a hand ball by Monterrey near the sidelines prior to the Rayados scoring the equalizer in the 93rd minute to give them a lead on aggregate due to road goals.
Columbus will travel to Monterrey, Mexico to take on Rayados next Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. The Crew must win that game by at least one goal to advance to the Champions League semifinals, a place Columbus has never been before.
Porter stood by his comments during a press conference Thursday adding Monterrey had 19 fouls and one yellow card while Columbus committed six fouls but received two yellow cards.