Controversy as men’s comeback comes up short

Last week saw FC Buffalo’s men lose their unbeaten record with a trip to the tall grass of Pittsburgh and a wicked goal from ex-Riverhounds attacker Nicky Kolarac.

Fast-forward to Saturday in Buffalo and Kolarac was at it again but this time the hosts had the juice for a comeback, scoring two goals but only seeing one survive controversy in a 2-1 loss that left the Wolves’ playoff hopes dangling in third place.

Down 1-0 on Kolarac’s terrific shot from distance, the Wolves appeared to quickly tie the score when Chris Jensen’s corner kick was punched by Pittsburgh’s goalkeeper onto the head of a defender, with the ball falling for Stian Joergensen to tap home.

But the celebration was short-lived, as the assistant referee’s flag was raised to signal a razor-thin offside. A minute-long discussion between the referees did not yield a decision that worked within our understanding of the rule book, but different strokes for different folks, we guess.

Pittsburgh was soon awarded a penalty when Habib Famuditimi tipped the ball away from a charging player who had identified the 18 as what The Situation Room calls the lake and entered a film for the academy’s consideration called, “The Lake” which received critical acclaim from the judges.

But FCB kept scrapping and controlled much of the second half, delivering a goal when Nuukele Gboe cued up Mahmoud Keita to set up a grandstand final 15 minutes. But chance after chance was either off the mark or stymied by Pittsburgh keeper Keaton Jennings and the Hotspur escaped with a season sweep and a healthy lead on the table.

The good news is that Pittsburgh plays first-place Cleveland on Friday before FCB visits Cleveland on Sunday. It’s a must-win in every sense of the word.