FRISCO - There were a number of contentious refereeing decisions during FC Dallas' 4-0 defeat to Vancouver on Saturday night, but one call from match official Baldomero Toledo altered the match permanently - his decision to award Vancouver a 49th-minute penalty kick after a foul in the penalty box by midfielder Kellyn Acosta on Vancouver forward Fredy Montero.
The spot kick was dispatched by Montero to put Vancouver 2-0 up and in the driver's seat for the remainder of the match.
"We'll have to look back on the PK and see what happened there," defender Walker Zimmerman said. "It definitely changed the game."
The decision was defended by Toledo in his post match comments to the media.
"Although Acosta did make contact with the ball, he charged Montero in a careless manner inside the penalty area," Toledo said. "He disallowed Montero an opportunity to play the ball, this warranted the penalty kick."
Only 10 minutes after the penalty decision was given, Toledo took to the spotlight again when he sent off Dallas midfielder Carlos Gurezo for violent conduct against Vancouver midfielder Yordy Reyna.
The pair of calls undoubtedly tipped the match in favor of the Whitecaps, something Dallas was unable to recover from.
"After the PK call, the game turned on us," head coach Oscar Pareja said. "After the incidents in the second half, with the penalty and the red card, we were just more muscles and energy than ideas."
Despite the controversy surrounding the two calls, Zimmerman knows Dallas must face adversity head on when it hits during games.
"We need to show a little bit more resiliency and not let the game get out of hand," Zimmerman said.
After the All-Star Break, Dallas will have plenty of opportunities to do just that. Five matches await Dallas following August 2nd's All-Star Match against Real Madrid, including a home Texas Derby showdown against Houston.
"We're going to reflect on the game," Acosta said. "Obviously it hurts to lose this bad, especially at home in front of the fans. We're going to regroup and rebuild. We have a big test this upcoming week in Philadelphia."