The Video Assistant Referee system (VAR) disallowed one goal for France and over-ruled an offside decision given Spain their second goal. Both instances occured in the friendly match in Paris where the visitors left with a 0-2 victory and gave more evidence of the value of technology in the modern game.
Griezmann denied by video decision
It was in the 48th minute that Griezmann appeared to have put the hosts in front. A nicely worked move, with the ball clipped to the far post, headed back across goal by Tolisso and the French striker powering a header past David de Gea. But as the French celebrated, referee Felix Zwayer had called upstairs to his colleague with TV screens in front of him asking for confirmation that the goal should stand. As was clear to everyone watching on TV at home or in a bar, the final two passes leading up to the goal should have been called for offside. And so the decision was made. The game remained 0-0.
🎥An example of how video assistant refs could be used going forward...— ITV Football (@itvfootball) 28 March 2017
Griezmann scores but the video ref rules it out for offside: pic.twitter.com/r0IswV6EyI
Deulofeu goal stands despite offside
David Silva had already put Spain ahead from the penalty spot by the time that the second VAR decision was to be made. This time, a beautifully worked move from the visiting side resulted in a finish from Gerard Deulofeu in the 77th minute. But the flag went up denying the Everton man (on loan at Milan) a dream international goal. Again, though, knowing the decision was tight, the man in charge went to the VAR. And again, the correct decision was made, overruling the offside and giving Spain their second goal with replays showing that Deulofeu was level with the last man. From ball crossing the line to the goal being given just 40 seconds had elapsed.
Ok, here we go, this is the amount of time it took the video assistant referee to overrule the offside decision and allow Deulofeu's goal pic.twitter.com/kTLn8LgQdD— ITV Football (@itvfootball) 28 March 2017
A win for Spain...and for VAR
All in all, it was a great night for how the VAR system should be used to get the correct decisions at game-changing moments. Some may still argue, though, that there will be less to argue about later if the controversy is removed...