Pivotal VAR calls


Australia rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat Brazil 3-2 when an offside call against captain Sam Kerr was overturned following a review, helping the Aussies advance to the second round.


Both Nigeria and Scotland came undone by VAR decisions to penalise their goalkeepers facing penalties. Scottish custodian Lee Alexander had saved from Florencia Bonsegundo of Argentina, while Nigeria's Chiamaka Nnadozie saw France defender Wendie Renard's kick miss the target. But VAR showed the goalkeepers did not have both feet on the goal line when the ball was kicked and ordered for the penalty to be retaken. Both spot-kick takers duly scored on their second attempts.

While Nigeria's 1-0 loss to hosts France did not stop them from reaching the next round, Scotland's path to the knockout stage was blocked as their 3-3 draw with Argentina meant the Scots finished last in their group.


Germany secured their place in the last eight after a 3-0 win over Nigeria on Saturday and they had VAR to thank for their first two goals. Alexandra Popp headed home from a corner and the goal was allowed to stand after a video referral ruled teammate Svenja Huth had not blocked the goalkeeper's vision while she was in an offside position.

Lina Magull was then caught on the knee as Nigerian left-back Evelyn Nwabouku attempted to clear a loose ball in the area. After reviewing the incident, the referee awarded Germany a penalty, which Sara Daebritz converted.


VAR was also involved in Norway's last-16 win over Australia on Saturday. The Norwegians won 4-1 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

Australia's Elise Kellond-Knight scored seven minutes from time to send the game into extra time but that could have been the winner had the Aussies been given a penalty before half-time.

Five minutes from the interval, the ball bounced off the shoulder of Norwegian defender Maria Thorisdottir. The referee initially awarded Australia a penalty, but overturned the decision after a three-minute VAR review.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2019, with the headline 'Pivotal VAR calls'. Print Edition | Subscribe