LAFC vs Club America - Concacaf Champions League


Well-Known Member
Level 7 Referee
Hoping those of you on the other side of the Atlantic can see this. Plenty to discuss from this game. In the US, we call a refereeing performance like this "getting CONCACAFed". Let's just say that the culture of the offciating in North and Central American competitions is much more akin to the videos I've watched of 1970s and 1980s English football with a lot of South American pantomiming thrown in. It's been the culture of CONCACAF for decades, and I don't think it'll change anytime soon.

The key moment is the missed penalty and subsequent red card issued to LAFC's Eduard Atuesta after Club America (and starting Mexico international) goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa did a fantastic impression of being hit like Callum Smith was last night against Canelo Alvarez in first half stoppage time. VAR is not being used in this tournament, which is being held in a neutral Orlando, FL location similar to how the Champions League was held in Lisbon to develop a Covid bubble. In the 79th minute, the match reverted to 10 v 10 after a Club America challenge produced a send off for SFP.

Full disclosure that I'm not a LAFC fan. I'm just used to seeing this level of officiating in any sort of CONCACAF match. It's right up there with CAF (Africa) for, shall I say, "interesting" refereeing decisions. For example, in the 2019 Gold Cup final, the referee who is presumed to work the final later this week somehow got through a USA-Mexico competitive match without issuing a card. The match probably should have ended 10 v 9 (with the US having two sent off and Mexico one sent off), but not even a yellow in the match.
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Staff member
Looks to me like the attacker reacts but the keeper pre-empts it and just throws himself to the ground. Can understand how the officials have fallen for it though, another example of a player cheating to con the officials.


RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Did the find the sniper who fired the shots? The way this two went down could have been for no other reason but.

This sort of play acting is taking the game down to new lows. The only solution is retrospective heavy bans. And when I say heavy, I mean heavy (start from 5 weeks).


Well-Known Member
Level 7 Referee
I can’t prove it, but I think the trail AR took his eyes off of this situation, saw the aftermath, and went what he assumed happened.

I get why some say VAR isn’t worthwhile. This play is why I still think it’s important. This was a key match incident. If LAFC gets a penalty via VAR as they should have (the US referee forum I frequent was virtually unanimous that it was a penalty), the Ochoa situation doesn’t happen.

It’s a good lesson for us as ARs to make sure we are looking behind the play as the trail, particularly on a play where we know the center has to catch up on play.