The controversy over whether or not a penalty ought to have been given stems from Julian Alvarez colliding with Dominic Livakovic, the Croatia goalkeeper.
Argentina’s march to the World Cup final was sparked by Lionel Messi’s penalty kick in the first half. What was expected to be a heated last-four match turned out to be fairly even, with Croatia losing 3-0.
Messi and Julian Alvarez worked together to stop any more Croatian waves at this tournament and put an end to Croatia’s run to the World Cup finals in 2018.
However, the tumultuous nature of the penalty highlighted the controversies surrounding the refereeing that have plagued this World Cup.
In the 32nd minute, the incident occurred. Enzo Fernandes, ine of Argentina’s regulars since the loss to Saudi Arabia, heaved a wonderful ball to Alvarez, who was conveniently settled between both the Croatian community backs. Alvarez was able to make a clear run at goal with only keeper Livakovic to beat because the ball was good enough.
Livakovic, Morocco’s Yassine Bounou, and Croatia’s Emiliano Martinez have been competing for the goalkeeper of the tournament award alongside Livakovic.
He did, however, break from his line this time to stop Alvarez. The Manchester City striker attempted to lob the ball over Livakovic at this point but failed. He did, however, touch the ball, taking it away from the goalkeeper. To his credit, Livakovic held his ground and did not appear to move to hinder Alvarez. However, the Argentine striker slammed into the goalkeeper and extended his arms while lying on the ground. He received a penalty because the referee complied. The referee won the VAR checks.
Gary Neville, a football analyst for ITV, was clear that it wasn’t a penalty. There is no penalty here. He has no other options. Neville inquired, He plants his feet because he has to in order to try to save the ball. Fair enough if he had continued to run out and killed Varez, but he stops before it, and I don’t know if that’s a penalty.
Peter Walton, a former referee, was in the studio with Neville and was absolutely convinced that Livakovic was to blame. Walton stated, “He’s challenging for the ball and completely misses the ball before catching the player. In fact, what he did there was get in the way of that forward and impede his progress, so it has to be a foul.”
The manner in which the goal occurred is another factor. Over the past two World Cups, Croatia’s strategy has been to take the game to penalties, where they typically prevail in a battle of wills. They completely alter their strategy and instead pursue the game after scoring a goal early in the game.
“We yielded an objective, which was exceptionally dubious. To be honest, the circumstance that led to the penalty… it was a little bit too cheap, a little bit too easy,” said Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic. The new rules apply to our goalkeeper’s actions. This objective steered the match somewhere new.”
They were much more vulnerable than they would ever be during that hunt for the game. They were eliminated from the tournament, losing 3-0 to the Argentines as a result.
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