Disputed call gives rivalry soccer game to the Panthers


Ezra Fax

SCRAMBLE: Firehawk junior Isaac Kahtan fights YULA No. 15 for the ball at rivalry game in Encino Jan. 14.

A controversial call and an offensive struggle caused the Firehawk boys soccer team to lose 1-0 to the rival YULA Panthers on Saturday night, Jan. 14.

Trailing by one on the field at Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, at about 58 minutes the Firehawks were awarded a penalty kick that was called back twice for rule infractions. Both of those kicks, by junior Daniel Orenstein, were successful.

But on his third try he missed and the Panthers went on to win the game.

Players and spectators on the field said Daniel’s second kick had been legal, and a student video shown later confirmed that view that there had been no infraction. In a postgame interview, Shalhevet Coach Lee Turnbull said the Firehawks had not really lost the game.

“It was the referee’s fault that the result was different,” Coach Turnbull said in an interview. ”But all my players know what the result was, we know what the result was, their team knows what the result was, and their coaches know what the result was.

“The referee, when he goes to bed at night, puts his head in that pillow, knows what the result was,” he said.

Shalhevet could not get things going offensively before and after the kicks. The Panthers coach was glad they were able to score early. At around the 19th minute of the game, Lior Totaiv was able, take the lead 1-0 for the Panthers.

“We executed early and we were rewarded with a really nice goal,” said YULA coach Rafael Meghnagi.

POINT: A video of the second play, taken by Kobe Shemesh, a cousin of Firehawk sophomore Isaac Khatan, shows that Ezra did not crossed the line before the ball was kicked.

The Firehawks’ first penalty kick was called back because Daniel kicked it before the whistle blew.

On his second try, he scored again, and a cheer went up from the crowd. But referees called this second goal back for another type of penalty.

According to FIFA rules, during a penalty kick all other players must be outside of the box where the kick is taking place. Referees said senior Ezra Hess crossed the line.

A video of the second play, taken by Kobe Shemesh, a cousin of Firehawk sophomore Isaac Khatan, shows that Ezra did not crossed the line before the ball was kicked.

Referees decided to make Daniel kick a third time, and this time he missed. Daniel said the dispute affected his play for the rest of the game.

“I was shocked and mostly angry,” Daniel said. “I didn’t play my best after the goals were taken away,” he said

Ezra Hess thought the referee knew his call on the play was incorrect.

“The ref knew he had made a mistake,” said Ezra.

Mid-game Shalhevet changed their gameplay. Usually the Firehawks play a 4-5-1 with 1 being the attacker, which was Daniel Oranstein, who plays left midfield. But later on, Ezra Hess, who plays left center midfield, moved positions to become an another attacker to make it a 4-4-2.

Even with the change the Firehawks still could not score.

“We played well, but there were times when we weren’t intense enough, we weren’t winning the 50-50 goals,” Daniel told The Boiling Point after the game.

Despite the loss, goalkeeper Eli Greenberg was commended for his performance in the match by the Panthers’ coach.

“He could pretty much save everything,” said Coach Meghnagi

In a pregame interview, Eli discussed what it was like being a leader on the team.

“It’s really about keeping your head up when things don’t go well,” said Eli.

Even though they could not come out with the win, Coach Turnbull thought Shalhevet did very well.

“We had a nearly perfect game,” he said. “I want them to understand that my boys scored one legal goal and their team scored one legal goal, the game was 1-1,” said Mr. Turnbull.

The Firehawks are now 2-6-1 after losing to YULA, but coach Turnbull still believes that the referees made a bad call.