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Byrne & Sadlier Disagree Over Controversial Spain Goal In Semi-Final Win Over Sweden

Byrne & Sadlier Disagree Over Controversial Spain Goal In Semi-Final Win Over Sweden
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Spain have booked their place in a first ever FIFA Women's World Cup final, defeating Sweden 2-1 in dramatic fashion in Auckland this morning.

It was a tense game throughout, with the contest still very much in the balance at 0-0 heading into the final ten minutes. However, there was plenty of drama to follow on from that point.

It all started when Spain opened the scoring through Salma Paralluelo, with the Barcelona star reacting quickest to a dropping ball in the penalty area before finishing brilliantly into the bottom corner.

Some felt this goal should not have stood, with Spain forward Eva Maria Navarro potentially blocking the view of the Swedish goalkeeper as the ball went into the net. However, the officials allowed it to stand.


The drama was not over there.

Sweden thought they had done enough to secure extra-time when substitute Rebecka Blomqvist drew them level in the 88th minute.

However, the parity in the scoreline would last for only 90 seconds.


Olga Carmona was the player that got the winner for Spain, with Sweden goalkeeper Zećira Mušović unable to stop her long range effort.

In the end, that was enough to secure a spot in the final of this competition for the first time in Spain's history.

RTÉ pundits disagree over controversial goal in Spain vs Sweden

While Spain will rightly be celebrating this result, some will feel that that they were fortunate to take the lead in the final ten minutes.


That first goal has certainly split opinion, with an argument to be made that Mušović's view was blocked by the offside Spanish forward and impeded her ability to stop the shot.

Speaking on RTÉ after the game, Emma Byrne and Richie Sadlier disagreed over whether the strike should have been allowed to stand.

Byrne: Obviously I'm going to say yes (it did affect the goalkeeper). As a goalkeeper, if you have a player in front of you your thought it to stay back incase the ball gets a ricochet or deflection and you have more time to react. If that player wasn't there, I would be asking Mušović why she didn't close it down a little bit.

For me, she is interfering with the goalkeeper's line of sight there. It does affect the goalkeeper on whether she steps forward or if she stays back on her line...

Sadlier: I don't think the goalkeeper can make any claim that the Spanish player in front of her is preventing her from seeing the ball. It happens to quickly that I don't know what Mušović would have done differently, it's a reaction shot from Paralluelo.

Byrne: She probably wouldn't have saved it to be honest if there was no one there, but...

Sadlier: There's no dispute that she's offside, she's the wrong side of the defender, but I don't know if there's anything that the goalkeeper could have done differently whether that player was there or not.

It's one of those subjective calls. There's no dispute if she's offside, it's then about how you interpret that situation...

I don't think you could overrule that decision. It all happened so quickly, at no point is the goalkeeper unsighted from the ball based on the position of that player.

It's whether the position of that player impacts the goalkeeper unfairly. You're trying to get into the mind of the goalkeeper at that point.

Byrne: It would for me. If I have a player there in front of me, I'm going to stay back because I want that reaction time. If I don't have that player there I'm going to close the ball down a little bit more.

The offside rule in situations such as this is certainly open for interpretation, but you get the sense that the officials probably got the decision right on this occasion.

Reaching this final is quite the achievement for Spain, who are missing quite a few top players from their squad. Back in October, 15 squad members wrote to the national association asking for manager Jorge Vilda to be dismissed due to what they felt were poor working conditions within the national team setup.

Only three of those players returned to the squad for this tournament, with the likes of Patri Guijarro, Mapi Leon, and Sandra Panos still absent.

Despite this, they will now be preparing for a final against England or Australia on Sunday morning.

SEE ALSO: Talk Of Evan Ferguson Sell-On Fee Has Bohemians Fans Absolutely Giddy As Caicedo Moves

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