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The Definitive Angle: NWSL Week 3

The Definitive Angle is PRO’s analysis of the week’s Video Review use in NWSL.

Week 3 overview
There was one Video Review during Week 3.

ORL vs NJY: Review for penalty kick (handball) – not given

What Happened: The referee awarded a direct free kick to Orlando Pride after Yazeem Ryan (NJY) handled the ball when attempting to block a clearance inside the Orlando Pride penalty area.

When the VAR checked the footage of the incident, she saw that prior to Ryan’s handball, the ball had hit the hand of defender Caitlin Cosme (ORL), which was away from her body and had blocked the ball.

The VAR saw the handball as an infraction and recommended a Video Review for a penalty. The referee agreed and awarded the penalty kick to NJ/NY Gotham.

On-field decision: Direct free kick to Orlando Pride.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty.
Length of review: 5:50.

PRO’s Opinion: This is a subjective decision with mixed considerations for a handling offense. While the arm was away from the body and outside of the player’s silhouette, there was a slight deflection on the ball, and two players were jumping in front of Cosme, which obstructed the defender’s view and ability to move her arm to not block the ball.

This is one of those instances where the decision on the field is too subjective and is not a clear error. Although the final decision of handball penalty can be supported, the high line of intervention that PRO wants to maintain was not reached, and the review should not have been recommended.

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