Red Bulls’ Sekagya on penalty: “I didn’t foul him”

IMAGE MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

CHESTER, PA – On first look, it would appear New York Red Bulls’ defender Ibrahim Sekagya clearly fouled Pedro Ribeiro from behind for the game-tying penalty at Philadelphia’s PPL Park.

But the Ugandan back doesn’t see it that way.

“I didn’t foul him,” he said after the match.  “I just missed first time the ball, and then the second time, I touched the ball and then he fell down. I didn’t touch him — I just touched the ball.

“I missed the ball the first time.  The second time I touched it and he just fall down.”

When watching the replay, Sekagya may have a point.  Though he does a terrible job whiffing on a loose ball clearance in the box, the 34-year-old veteran makes good on his recovery, hitting the ball with the outside of his foot just ahead of the onrushing Ribiero.

Sekagya infraction (back view)

Sekagya infraction (back view)

Sekagya infraction (front view)

Sekagya infraction (front view)

 

An ensuing and deliberate hook of the leg did, however, bring Ribiero down and interrupted what still looked like a clear scoring opportunity.

Not that Sekagya sees it that way.

“It was just the pressure of the referee so that he could give them a penalty,” he said.  “For me, it was not.”

One thing Sekagya will admit to, however, is just how devastating the draw was.  While an important point on the road, a win would have meant maximum points in their opening three matches of a cluttered September schedule.

“We played so good in the first half, and the second half, things changed around. They made a lot of pressure on us,” he said.  “We were supposed to keep more possession with the ball and it didn’t turn out that way and we concede a goal like this?

“It’s not good. We were supposed to win.”