Double dose of VAR drama as France allowed re-take missed penalty - and score

Hosts top Group A with 100% record while Norway go through as runners-up.

Devastated: Nnadozie reacts to the referee's decision.
Devastated: Nnadozie reacts to the referee's decision.
Image: AP/PA Images

WORLD CUP HOSTS France got a helping hand from VAR tonight as they beat Nigeria 1-0 to top Group A.

The game was still scoreless in the 74th minute when Les Bleus were awarded a penalty following a VAR review.

Ngoze Ebere was deemed to have brought down Viviane Asseyi in the box and was sent off for a second bookable offence.

French defender Wendie Renard stepped up to take the spot kick but appeared to have let Nigeria off the hook when she dragged her shot to the left and wide.

However, referee Melissa Borjas asked VAR to review goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie’s position when the ball was struck and — as neither of her feet were on her line — ordered the penalty to be retaken.

var Source: RTÉ

Under the new rules brought in by football lawmakers IFAB for the 2019/2020 season, which are being implemented at the World Cup:

The goalkeeper must have at least part of one foot on/in line with the goal line when the kick is taken.

The VAR protocol states that “the referee can initiate a review for an offence by the goalkeeper or kicker which directly affects the outcome of the penalty kick”.

(Potential encroachment by outfield players before the ball is struck can only be reviewed if an attacking player either scores or is directly involved in a goal being scored, or a defender prevents an opponent playing the ball in a situation where a goal might be scored.)

Renard made no mistake at the second attempt, converting for the game’s only goal which sends France through as Group A winners with three wins from three.

Nigeria, who finish on three points, will now face an anxious wait to see if they qualify as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Norway progress as Group A runners-up after they beat South Korea 2-1.

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Niall Kelly

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