Ronaldo's penalty against Ghana: Soft call but VAR wasn't needed - ESPN analysis

Salisu Ronaldo Penalty 76879 Salisu puts in the tackle that led to the penalty

Sun, 27 Nov 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

A major highlight from the Ghana versus Portugal clash on November 24 at the World Cup is the penalty call in favour of Portugal leding to their first goal.

The Selecao were awarded a penalty after referee Ismail Elfath spotted an offence in a challenge defender Mohammed Salisu put in against Cristiano Ronaldo in Ghana's box.

The former Man United star subsequently converted the kick to give his side the lead in a fixture that eventually ended in a 3 - 2 loss for the Black Stars

Most pundits have pointed to the fact that there was no contact between Salisu and Ronaldo and that the referee had at least to also refer to the Video Assistant Referee, VAR, which he did not.

The verdict on social media has been stern on FIFA and the referee.

Global sports giants, ESPN, however, hold a contrary view from their analysis of the incident.

"Replays showed that Ronaldo definitely got to the ball first ahead of Salisu before there was contact on the Portugal striker’s boot and upper body.

"Even though this could certainly be considered a soft penalty, we have to look at it in VAR terms; it would not be seen as a clear and obvious error by the match referee, fellow American official Ismail Elfath.

"Equally, if the referee hadn’t given the penalty, it’s unlikely the VAR would have advised a spot kick," part of their analysis read.

It continued: "If Salisu had gotten to the ball first before Ronaldo, this would have been grounds for a full review, but unfortunately for the Ghana defender, he failed to do so."

ESPN also cited a similar incident on the half-hour mark involving Ronaldo and defender Alex Djiku.

"Ronaldo also thought he had scored in the 31st minute, but the referee had already blown for a foul against him for a push on Alexander Djiku. The VAR is unable to review anything after the referee’s whistle, so he cannot look back at the foul to award the goal," they concluded.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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