Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Controversial goals, “leapfrogger” accusation: Late Whitecaps’ surge breaks FC Edmonton’s hearts

Controversial goals, “leapfrogger” accusation: Late Whitecaps’ surge breaks FC Edmonton’s hearts


FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller wasn’t around to see the Vancouver Whitecaps score the game winner.

Miller was sent off for abusing the officials after referee Silviu Petrescu made a controversial penalty decision, allowing Camilo to tie the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship semifinal, 2-2. Then, as Miller was making the long walk down the Commonwealth Stadium tunnel, he could only hear the groans from most of the 2,838 in attendance as Tom Heinemann, in the process of falling down, banged in a rebound to give the Whitecaps the 3-2 advantage heading home to BC Place.

After going down to a disputed goal in the fourth minute, the NASL Eddies roared back with goals from Michael Cox and Chris Nurse to take a 2-1 lead at halftime. And only a fantastic face save by Whitecaps keeper Brad Knighton kept the Eddies from going up 3-1. But the Whitecaps pushed forward in the second half — but still couldn’t find the equalizer, raising hopes for a Cinderella story in this year’s cup.

But, with 10 minutes left in the game, Camilo went down in the box, feeling a touch from the boots of FCE defender Mallan Roberts, who was making his professional debut. Petrescu pointed to the spot. With Camilo already on a yellow, had Petrescu called a dive, the Brazilian might have been sent off. Instead, he finished the PK and the Cinderella story turned into A Nightmare on Elm Street for the home fans.

FCE's Michael Cox passes Whitecap Daigo Kobayashi. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/CANADA SOCCER
FCE’s Michael Cox passes Whitecap Daigo Kobayashi. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/CANADA SOCCER

“The man’s known around his league for being a little bit of a leapfrogger,” said Roberts after the match. “But, from what I saw, I can say he’s a true professional.”

Miller collected himself before making his post-game speech, and was politically correct in his comments, saying that he’d need to see the replays before commenting on the call again.

Miller also wouldn’t discuss Camilo’s fourth-minute goal, a low roller of a free kick that skidded across the box and inside the far post. But, as the ball went through the box, it appeared that Darren Mattocks, in an offside position, made a motion that he was going to play the ball. But the linesman kept the flag down, indicating he didn’t feel Mattocks was active.

“”I am not sure if he was offside,” said keeper Lance Parker. “But when he made that little flinch like he was going to take the shot, it kinda froze me, it kept me from diving to my left.”

“If it was offside, I haven’t seen it. I can’t say,” Miller said. “But the ball’s travelled a long way, I’ve seen it a million times on TV and I’ve played in games that the ball travels a long way and you think that someone’s going to get a touch on it, the defender’s going to get a touch on it, and the ball’s in the back of the net. But, boy, the way we responded to that was magnificent.”

FCE came back, with a vengeance. Left back Lance Laing, who was the best Eddie on the pitch Wednesday, played a long ball to the box. Whitecap Andy O’Brien got his head to it, but could only pop the ball in the air. Eddies striker Michael Cox got the second touch, and his touch-header lobbed over Knighton and inside the post.

The Eddies kept coming – and in the 27th minute, Chris Nurse nodded home a corner.

“It was strange,” said Whitecaps’ coach Martin Rennie. “We got off to a great start and then, almost right away, we give up a goal.”

Laing then set up the Fordyce chance, which Knighton blocked.

“That delivery he had into Michael Cox for the first goal, that’s something we’ve acually worked on in training, and it’s pleasing to see that come through. He has real good qualities going forward. His free kicks, his crossing is fabulous.”

But the Whitecaps got the last laughs.

“I thought, in the second half, we played very well, we put them under a lot of pressure,” said Rennie.

“I can’t ask any more of the players,” said Miller. “They were magnificent all over the park. We finished the game with a 17-year-old Canadian (Sadi Jalali), a 19-year-old Canadian (Edem Mortotsi) and we gave a 20-year-old (Roberts) his professional debut.”

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  1. left back

    April 25, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Never a penalty… such a poor decision… can’t stand when the ref decides who wins matches and that was a joke… good performance from FCE… great response to a shaky start…

    Poor attendance again… 2300 ? not sure what the Fath group has to do to get people out to the games but it can’t continue… I heard a bunch of stuff on CBC radio about the game so you know they were trying to fill the seats….

    FCE has a year left…. maybe 2 at best… the owners just can’t continue losing this amount of money…if the Whitecaps don’t bring people out… i am not sure what will….

    Great job last night FCE….


    • T.

      April 26, 2013 at 12:39 am

      Advertising for this team has been an ongoing issue. If I didnt have a child in their Academy program, I dont know that I would know much of anything going on with this team. We went to about half of the home games last season, and will likely do the same this year, but they need to broaden their avenues of advertising or you are 100% right; they will be defunct in 2 years….


  2. Mike

    April 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Big night for the club and it was a good game to watch. We have some excellent players. Hope the effort carries over to the next game. Coach Miller aka The Tasmanian Devil needs to calm down. Someone should tell him the show is the players on the field not him on the sidelines.


  3. Andre

    April 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Edmonton was always going to need some luck, which they almost got (but ultimately did not). The ref was terrible, Camilo should be embarrassed, what a disgraceful player. I know people say that it’s just part of the game, but it’s not, diving is against the rules and it’s completely disgusting, sleazy, dishonest, and it should be ridiculed in the media. I’m not an FCE fan, I’m a TFC fan, but I was very disappointed by the injustice of last night’s game, shame on you Camilo.


  4. Footy

    April 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

    The Rabbits aren’t having any luck so far, that penalty again was given so easily. Really barely any contact at all, just a very poor decision from the ref which might have killed any hopes of getting into the final series.

    I keep on saying it: the play looks fairly good. But at one point it should be getting some points though. Maybe San Antonio can provide Edmonton with some momentum come Sunday, their streak, so far, is just as bad as is Edmonton’s.


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