When LA Galaxy forward Rob went sprawling after a ball in an attempt to win a header (or a call), his spectacular soaring through the air, arms aloft in protest from the moment he left the ground, he convinced the night's referee that a penalty was deserved.
But despite the referee being convinced, and a penalty being give, Nick Rimando did something that really isn't particularly unusual: He held his dive for just long enough, allowing him to read penalty taker Robbie Keane's shot, and he parried the shot away — his 20th penalty save since joining the league in 2000, placing him firmly at the top of MLS. He now sits a mere three shutouts from the all-time record, held by Kevin Hartman.
To be fair, we've seen even more mysterious penalty calls in the past with non-replacement referees. Replacement or not, two dubious decisions were on display. But the most important factor wasn't the mistaken calls: Instead, it was response to both mistaken calls. We never let our heads drop, and we ended the match with three points. For every element of luck, a more purposeful explanation can be had.