Ronaldo Masterclass after VAR Controversy

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar June 9, 2019 12:55

Ronaldo Masterclass after VAR Controversy

By Satish Sekar at Porto’s Estadio Dragao © Satish Sekar (June 5th 2019)

World Beater

Cristiano Ronaldo shrugged off problems – the last time referee Felix Brych refereed a match involving Ronaldo , the Portuguese superstar was ludicrously sent off on his return to Spain (Valencia v Juventus http://www.empowersmag.com/ten-man-juventus-beat-valencia-away/) – to score his sixth international hat-trick. There was controversy aplenty. At Mestalla it was a tale of spot-kicks, and in Porto the same.

Portugal took the lead through a Ronaldo free-kick midway through the first half after the Juventus star had been fouled by Kevin Mbabu. The Swiss defender had some cause to be aggrieved though as a bad challenge by Bruno Fernandes went unpunished.”

“I think it should have been a yellow card at least,” Mbabu, bearing the tell-tale marks from the challenge said afterwards. Bizarrely, given his previous sending-off of Ronaldo, Brych settled for a talking to. Interestingly, there was no VAR review of that challenge or a word about it afterwards.

VAR Controversy

But Portugal had one of, if not the best player in the world, and VAR would intervene. They broke rapidly after Swiss claims for a penalty were waved away by Brych, resulting a in a trip on Bernardo Silva. Brych pointed to the spot, but then had to review both decisions, eventually concluding that Nelson Semedo had indeed fouled Steven Zuber.

Brych reversed his earlier decision, and awarded a penalty to Switzerland – bad news for Portugal as up stepped Ricardo Rodríguez. He had never failed to score in four previous spot-kicks for Switzerland. That became five as this one just eluded Rui Patricio’s valiant attempt.

Ronaldo had previously missed a sitter, but would have the last laugh as extra time loomed. Switzerland had impressed earlier. Haris Seferović struck the bar and failed to take two other chances, and Xherdan Shqiri drew a decent save from Patricio, but despite their first half superiority it was Portugal who led at half time.

In the last five minutes Ronaldo scored twice from either side of the box to send Portugal through to the final. Both Shaqiri and Swiss captain, Granit Xhaka though the Swiss had been the better side, Portugal had a world beater who took his chances – Switzerland didn’t, and paid the price.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar June 9, 2019 12:55