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There's Plenty of Controversy from Columbus Crew SC's Win on Saturday

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A first half red card has taken the attention from Crew SC's 2-0 win on Saturday. What's the deal?

The Justin Morrow red card in stoppage time of Columbus Crew SC's 2-0 defeat of Toronto FC is the the controversy that is sweeping the nation.

"My thought is that it's not a red card," TFC head coach Greg Vanney said to reporters after the match. "I talked to trusted people who have watched the replay, and from my vantage point and from what I saw in the match, it wasn't a red card. Nothing I've heard otherwise has changed my mind."

There is no question the tackle is borderline. Morrow comes from the side and definitely gets the ball, but does he get Finlay first? Does it matter?

Referee David Gantar came from behind the play and made the judgement that Morrow took Finlay down. He called the foul, indicating that it took place outside the penalty area, then consulted with his linemen, who, coming from the right of the two players, was in a better position to see the tackle, not perfect but better.

What they decided was that Morrow denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity to Finlay, who had only Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik in front of him.

"Justin Morrow was sent off the field of play for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player's goal by an offense punishable by a free kick," Gantar said after the match when asked about he red car decision. "That was the reason why.

"The decision met the criteria for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity."

If the officials believed that Morrow denied Finlay a goal scoring opportunity than the call is correct and a player must be issued the red card and sent off.

Of course, there are still those who don't believe it was necessarily a foul at all. In this rather long Twitter argument, both Andrew King, who covers Crew SC for MLSsoccer.com and Kurtis Larson, a Toronto Sun columnist, each make good points about the tackle.

There is the argument that this call, which happened when the match was still 0-0, could have played a major impact in Columbus' eventual 2-0 victory, but there is another side to that argument as well, pointed out by our Matt Weisgarber in his 6 Thoughts on the contest.

Ultimately, the call is what it is. TFC was put in a bad position by a quick series of passes by Crew SC and a horrid touch by a defender. Morrow was forced to go to ground to make a tackle before Finlay entered the 18-yard box, and with that comes the risk of the official making a call and sending the player off.

Would the outcome have been different if Toronto had their full 11 players the remainder of the match? Potentially, but we can argue that until the cows come home.