Tuesday 17 July 2018

Janne Andersson: VAR shouldn’t have been needed to give Sweden penalty

Andreas Granqvist scored the game’s only goal from the spot after the penalty was eventually awarded by referee Joel Aguilar.

Andreas Granqvist fired Sweden to victory over South Korea (AP)
Andreas Granqvist fired Sweden to victory over South Korea (AP)

By Press Association Sport staff

Sweden coach Janne Andersson questioned why VAR needed to be used in his side’s World Cup victory over South Korea – but was pleased it was.

The Swedes opened their campaign in Russia with a 1-0 victory in Nizhny Novgorod after technology was used to award them a second-half spot-kick.

Captain Andreas Granqvist tucked home from 12 yards but Andersson wondered why referee Joel Aguilar did not penalise Lee Jae-sung for a foul on Viktor Claesson unaided.

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Granqvist’s winning penalty was awarded by VAR (AP)

Speaking in his post-match press conference, streamed by FIFA, Andersson said: “I do question a little bit the VAR in this case – it wasn’t even needed, it was crystal clear.

“From the position the referee had, he could have blown for the penalty straight away. The wait was unnecessary.

“But, if for some reason he missed it, it was excellent he was able to use the VAR.”

With World Cup holders Germany having been beaten by Mexico in their first match, Sweden’s victory has put them in a strong position in Group F.

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Victory will give Sweden confidence for tough games ahead (AP)

Andersson said: “Germany’s defeat did possibly make it more important to win. I was just focused on this game and wanted to win it but, looking ahead, the opportunities for us now are so much greater after winning.”

Granqvist was named man of the match but was quick to pay tribute to his team-mates.

He said: “I think we showed an excellent attitude out on the pitch. We are a team with fight. We run on behalf of each other. I am incredibly proud of all the lads and now we focus on the next match against Germany.”

Sweden had been accused of spying on a Korea training session ahead of the game.

Granqvist said: “I think this has been blown out of proportion. The person monitoring South Korea for us by accident, during one training session, was possibly hiding.

“It’s been focused on too much. It was a good game out there, an honest fight between two good teams.”

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Korea’s tactics proved ineffective (AP)

Korea’s gameplan had focused on negating Sweden’s physicality and coach Shin Tae-yong conceded they may have become too preoccupied with that issue.

He said: “Among the 32 teams at this World Cup, I think Sweden are one of the tallest. They are going to be very threatening because of their height. They are able to take advantage of this and their physical condition.

“We were worried about the height of the players and I think we became a little bit too subdued. That is probably why the Sweden goalkeeper was so under-employed.

“We really wanted to win this match. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t win but now our attitude is that we have to prepare ourselves very well for the match against Mexico.”

Press Association

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