Toronto • Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen blew off some steam about a controversial non-call in his postgame news conference following Real Salt Lake's 1-0 win at BMO Field on Saturday.
The play in question came in the 42nd minute when TFC forward Jeremy Brockie raced in for a potential scoring chance with Salt Lake defender Nat Borchers trying to stop him alone, and the pair appeared to get their feet tangled.
"We have a stone-cold penalty," Nelsen said. "I'm astonished why the referee hasn't given it. It has to be a sending off.
"He's the last man and [Borchers] clipped his knee. He's gone past him."
Toronto's bench boss didn't stop there, accusing referee Chris Penso of lacking the confidence to make an important call at a crucial point in the game.
Salt Lake's Yordany Alvarez scored minutes later, heading back the other way after Penso waived off Brockie's penalty appeal to the chagrin of 20,841 inside the stadium.
"[Replays] show [Borchers] knows what he's doing," Nelsen said. "He lifted a leg and clipped him. Even if you can't see that â¦ he has to give Brockie a yellow card for diving. He doesn't even have the confidence to do that. Doing nothing was completely the wrong call.
"I don't think [Penso] had one of his best games, in all honesty. This is what I get frustrated about. If you don't give a penalty, then you have to give Jeremy Brockie a yellow card for diving. It's as simple as that."
Press box replays showed slight contact as Salt Lake's veteran defender turned to chase the ball, but nothing nefarious.
Toronto's head coach played the victim even further in his closing comments, claiming more high-profile attackers would likely be given a penalty in similar circumstances.
"I wonder, if that was certain other individuals in this league running on goal, what the outcome would have been," Nelsen said. "I'm guessing it might have been a wee bit different."