World Cup: Soccer fans couldn't believe this controversial red card decision

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

Women's World Cup 2019


The application of VAR has been one of the biggest stories from the Women’s World Cup this summer, and many fans were raging on social media Saturday afternoon over controversial decisions during the Norway-Australia match in the Round of 16.


Norway scored in the first half to take a 1-0 lead, and Australia seemed to have a chance to equalize just before halftime when referee Riem Hussein called for a penalty for a handball in the penalty area.


The VAR official, however, saw enough evidence to overturn the call.

The second half was filled with polarizing non-calls that largely favored Norway, but Australia broke through in a closely contested game with a direct goal from a corner kick to equalize in the 83rd minute. Norway nearly scored a sensational winner in the closing minutes, but the post saved Australia and sent the game into extra time.


In the first period, Australia’s Alanna Kennedy was given a straight red card – the first of the World Cup – after the Norway attacker went down when her shirt was pulled.


The foul was checked by VAR – and the decision was upheld. It seemed that the ball had been played far enough ahead that the charging goalkeeper would have been able to safely deal with the threat, but the foul was ruled a denial of a goal-scoring opportunity, and Australia was left with 10 players for the remainder of extra time.


Although the commentary team seemed to agree with the call, fans were stunned. The game went to penalties, where Norway advanced, 4-1..


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