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'It's staggering he hasn't given this' - Controversy as non-penalty costs Serbia

With the game in the balance at 1-1, Aleksandar Mitrovic was wrestled in the box.

THERE WAS NO shortage of controversy tonight, as a late winner from Xherdan Shaqiri saw Switzerland earn a pivotal victory at Serbia’s expense.

Serbia will feel particularly aggrieved with the result, having been denied what many felt was a clear-cut penalty.

With the game in the balance at 1-1, Aleksandar Mitrovic could not properly connect with a dangerous cross, as two defenders seemingly attempted to wrestle him away from the ball.

The Newcastle striker, who spent part of this season on loan in the Championship with Fulham, was clearly unhappy.

Yet the 23-year-old attacker’s protests were ignored by the referee, with the officials opting against referring the incident to the video assistant.

The decision ultimately cost Serbia following Shaqiri’s late winner, with Mladen Krstajić’s side now needing to beat Brazil in their final game to be certain of progression to the last-16.

The dubious call received criticism in some quarters, with former Ireland international and current RTÉ pundit Keith Andrews describing the choice not to award a penalty or at least consult with VAR as “staggering”.

© – AFP, 2018

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Paul Fennessy

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