Wednesday 26 April 2017

'VAR' disallows Griezmann goal in Spanish victory

'France striker Antoine Griezmann (p) had hit the back of the net with a header early in the second half, but his effort was disallowed after the 'VAR' correctly said defender Layvin Kurzawa, who was involved in the move, was offside.' Photo: Reuters
'France striker Antoine Griezmann (p) had hit the back of the net with a header early in the second half, but his effort was disallowed after the 'VAR' correctly said defender Layvin Kurzawa, who was involved in the move, was offside.' Photo: Reuters

Nigel Whittaker

Spain's Gerard Deulofeu scored one and created another but had to share the limelight with the video assistant referee in a 2-0 friendly win over France in Paris last night.

David Silva put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot on 68 minutes after Deulofeu was fouled in the box by France defender Laurent Koscielny.

The on-loan AC Milan winger then converted a Silva cross nine minutes later, but was flagged offside. The goal, however, was awarded after German referee Felix Zwayer asked the video assistant to check the decision.

France striker Antoine Griezmann had hit the back of the net with a header early in the second half, but his effort was disallowed after the 'VAR' correctly said defender Layvin Kurzawa, who was involved in the move, was offside.

Italy recovered from an early own goal to beat the Netherlands 2-1 and cap a miserable few days for the hosts who sacked manager Danny Blind at the weekend.

Italy's Alessio Romagnoli deflected the ball into his own net after 10 minutes but Eder equalised within 60 seconds and centre back Leonardo Bonucci swept home a loose ball from a corner in the 32nd minute for the winner at the Amsterdam Arena.

Defeat for the Dutch came after a tumultuous period in which their World Cup qualification hopes were handed a severe blow by a 2-0 loss in Bulgaria on Saturday after which Blind was fired.

Under caretaker coach Fred Grim, the Dutch almost managed a draw when Wesley Sneijder's cameo appearance saw him produce two shots which were both saved by Milan's 18-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his Madeira homecoming with an early strike but Sweden wrecked the party by hitting back from two down to win 3-2 with a last-gasp own goal.

The match, Ronaldo's first appearance for Portugal on the island where he was born, took place on the eve of a ceremony to name Funchal airport after the 32-year-old Real Madrid forward, giving the whole evening a testimonial feel.

But the celebrations turned to misery for the 10,000 crowd as Joao Cancelo put through his own goal in stoppage time to hand Sweden an unlikely victory against the European champions.

Elsewhere, in the absence of Lionel Messi, Argentina fell further behind in the race for qualification from South America after a 2-0 defeat against second-from bottom Bolivia.

Prior to the game, FIFA banned Messi for four qualifiers after "having directed insulting words at an assistant referee" in Argentina's home qualifier against Chile.

The incident was not initially reported after Argentina's 1-0 win but was judged to be a red-card offence for Messi, who scored the only goal from a first-half penalty.

Television pictures showed Messi reacting angrily late in the game when the assistant flagged him for a foul. Messi will also miss the qualifiers in Uruguay in August, at home to Venezuela the following month and at home to Peru in October, meaning he will be available only for his team's final qualifier away to Ecuador.

Argentina lie eight points behind leaders Brazil in the South American qualifying group, with only the top four guaranteed a place in Russia 2018. Just five points separate Uruguay in third from Paraguay in seventh with both having played one game fewer than Argentina.

Irish Independent

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