Last year's Europa League runners up Rangers fell to 2-0 defeat at the hands of Belgian outfit Union Saint-Gilloise in the Champions League third-round qualifying stage.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side will now have to overturn a two goal deficit at Ibrox next week, but it was the late penalty awarded against Rangers' skipper Connor Goldson during the second half of the game that caused controversy.
Teddy Teuma's strike from the edge of the area was blocked by Ben Davies before the ball ricocheted against the outstretched arm of Goldson. The Rangers centre back clearly couldn't move his arm and after it bounced against his arm, the referee was instructed to review the incident.
After consultation with VAR, the referee pointed to the spot, awarding a yellow card to Connor Goldson and Dante Vanzeir converted from 12 yards to seal a 2-0 lead going into next week's second leg.
A colossal blow to Rangers! 😬
After a VAR review, a penalty is awarded against Connor Goldson for hand ball and Union double their lead 🖐️ pic.twitter.com/2uNWAHNOjI
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) August 2, 2022
The IFAB Handball Ruling suggests that the referee did get the decision wrong.
The ruling states:
"Exceptions, e.g the player’s arm is already extended when there is no expectation o the ball coming at, or near, the player from a team-mate."
Giovanni van Bronckhorst vented his frustrations with the decision to award a penalty after the game, but also highlighted the need for all round improvement for the the second leg.
The Rangers boss said:
"For the penalty decision, I was surprised he gave the penalty with so much at stake for all the clubs involved. We want to take the right decisions and I think we couldn't do anything else with the deflection.
"The penalty was given and they scored. The most important thing now is for myself to reflect on our own game because we need to change it around on Tuesday, big time. The performance needs to be a lot better than we showed today."
Rangers' fans react to controversial decision
Rangers fans undoubtedly felt hard done by and took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the poor call.
Never seen a worse decision in my life
— bassey.szn (@imNotDeluded) August 2, 2022
Although I don’t know what’s more embarrassing. That penalty decision or our performance tonight
— 𝚁𝚊𝚗𝚐𝚎𝚛55𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚎𝚜 (@Ranger55pares) August 2, 2022
FT: 2-0. Very disappointing result and even more disappointing performance from Rangers. Yes the penalty decision was ridiculous, but imo the scoreline was fair considering how poorly we played. Particularly worrying that none of our new signings really impressed at all tonight.
— Bob Steele (@BobSteele55) August 2, 2022
There's no doubt that Rangers have it all to do if they're to progress to the Champions League playoff round. The winner of the tie will meet either PSV or Monaco in the next round.