MLS playoff game delayed after lines around penalty box drawn incorrectly

Last Tuesday night’s MLS playoff game between the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC was delayed a little over 40 minutes after officials discovered the lines around the penalty box had been drawn incorrectly.

The match, which was scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. ET, got underway just past 8:40 local time.

The Impact usually play at the 20,801-seat Stade Saputo, but sold 61,004 tickets for the first leg of the Eastern Conference final at Olympic Stadium the former home of the Montreal Expos baseball team.

All three lines of the 18-yard box at one end were drawn about two yards too close to the goal and had to be repainted before the game could begin.

Impact president Joey Saputo owned up to the error, though he said the responsibility to check the lines fell to the officiating crew, who arrived slightly late to the game.

“We’re somewhat embarrassed. Obviously it’s the first time it’s happened to us,” Saputo said. “We’ve been in situations like this before, where we have 61,000 fans.

“We have to take the responsibility for it. It’s our fault. It’s unfortunate it happened.”

The crowd will be the second largest for an MLS playoff game behind only the 61,316 fans at Gillette Stadium for the New England Revolution’s MLS Cup final against LA Galaxy in 2002.