VAR Controversy as Portugal Concede Late Equaliser
Portugal face the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) as a late penalty decision sees them finish second as Spain steals top spot. Ricardo Quaresma opened the scoring for Portugal with a brilliant outside of the boot finish. However, this was leveled out when Iran scored a controversial penalty courtesy of VAR and the ground referee.
Should Ronaldo have been sent off?
This would have been one of the most interesting decisions this tournament. As Cristiano Ronaldo would have had to make the dreaded walk back into the tunnel. In what seemed like a normal collision, the referee was forced to go to VAR to make his final decision. Ultimately, the referee decided a yellow card was appropriate for Ronaldo’s challenge. However, fans across the globe have begun to question, was it a red card? The answer is no, as you can see the Iranian defender blocking out Ronaldo. Although the 32-year-old wanted to get in front of the defender, his arm did go across but did not make sufficient contact to award the red-card. Was it right to use VAR in this situation?
Iran given a lifeline
Once again, VAR stole the limelight here, however it should be the referee who should be criticised. The VAR studio should have decided straight away that it should not be given as a penalty. However, for the referee to go over and look at the television many people fear that the decision was going to go horribly wrong. No surprise, Iran was awarded the penalty even though Cedric’s hands were in a natural position and had no intention of touching the ball with his hands. But what concerned me more was the Iran players’ behavior. You can see the Iranian team telling the crowd to get louder whilst the referee was making the decision, in attempt to pressure him into awarding a penalty in their favor.
Portugal face Uruguay, Spain take on hosts Russia
Due to the late decision, the whole group changed as Spain scored a late equalizer against Morocco to top the group. With Portugal also conceding a late penalty meant that they’d finish second in the group. Now with them finishing second, they will face Uruguay in the round of 16 which is definitely the harder opponent. Spain will now face Russia which might be a more difficult game than many think, simply due to the fact that it will be played on home soil. The host nation have been on good form and will have the crowd with them as they hope to expose a weak mentality of Spain.
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