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VAR Controversy As Scotland Eliminated After Blowing Three-Goal Lead

VAR Controversy As Scotland Eliminated After Blowing Three-Goal Lead
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Florencia Bonsegundo converted a re-taken penalty in stoppage time as Argentina came from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Scotland, a result that eliminated the Scots and gave the South Americans a slim hope of advancing in the Women's World Cup.

Victory would have put Argentina through, the draw meant that they will need freakish results in the last two groups to go through as one of the best third-place finishers.

The final minutes of the game left both sides complaining about VAR. In spite of the time taken over two reviews, there was very little added time.

"Experience has taught me not to protest or argue with the decisions of the referee," Carlos Borrello the Argentina coach said. "Four of five minutes were lost."

"I'm left with a bitter taste," he said. "I think if the game had lasted a little longer we could have won."

Scotland have conceded a penalty in all three of their games.

"We feel hard done by in the three games we've played VAR's been used and we've been very unlucky," said Scotland coach Shelley Kerr. 


Kim Little, Jen Beattie and Erin Cuthbert put Scotland 3-0 up after 69 minutes.

Cuthbert was voted player of the match.

"The player of the match is no consolation," she said. "I'm gutted for the team, we've given everything."


After Cuthbert's goal Milagros Menendez replied with Argentina's first goal of the tournament in the 74th minute. 

Five minutes later a shot by Bonsegundo rebounded off the bar, struck goalkeeper Lee Alexander and went in.

With two minutes left, after an agonising VAR review, Argentina were handed a penalty. 


Alexander saved Bonsegundo's tame first effort, but VAR caught the goalkeeper straying off her line and the Argentine converted her second effort in the fourth minute of stoppage time. 

The draw left Scotland on one point, bottom of Group D and eliminated. 

Argentina have two points and can only advance as one of the four best third-place finishers if the games between Cameroon and New Zealand in Group E and Chile and Thailand in Group F both end in draws.


Scotland took the lead in the 19th minute when Cuthbert opened up the Argentine defence and after her first shot was blocked hooked the ball to Little, who poked a shot home.

Four minutes into the second half, Beattie crashed a header past Correa.

'We were a player down'

When Argentina's captain and star Estefania Banini came off after an hour, to be replaced by Menendez, it seemed her and Argentina's World Cup was over.

When Cuthbert scored after 69 minutes, Scotland seemed set for the second round.

"For 70 minutes we were very good but we didn't manage to see the game out," said Kerr

Argentina hit back with two goals in five minutes.

In the 74th minute, Menendez finished a fluent move with a precise low shot past Alexander.

Then Bonsegundo's shot hit the bar and rebounded onto the back of the leaping Alexander's outstretched hand and dropped back over the line.

With time running out, Argentina won a corner. Scotland were aggrieved that the referee did not wait for sub Fiona Brown to come on.

"We were a player down," said Kerr.

When the ball ran to Aldana Cometti, Scotland's Sophie Howard lunged in. After a long VAR pause, referee Hyang Ok Ri acknowledged there had been a foul.

Alexander started behind her line, but strayed a little too soon as she sprawled to save Bonsegundo's first effort.

A second VAR review gave Bonsegundo a second chance and she eliminated the Scots.

The game had barely restarted when Ri whistled.

Asked if FIFA needs to look at the quality of referees Kerr said: 'Yes'.

© Agence France-Presse

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