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The Definitive Angle: NWSL Week 4

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

Week 4 overview
There were two Video Reviews during Week 4 – one in the opening round of games in the NWSL Challenge Cup and one in a regular-season game.


ORL vs NC (NWSL Challenge Cup): Review for penalty kick (handball) – given


What Happened: A penalty kick was awarded to North Carolina Courage after a handball offense by Tori Hansen (ORL).

When the VAR checked the footage, he determined that while the ball made contact with Hansen’s hand as the defender slid in to block Kerolin Nicoli’s (NC) progress inside the penalty area, there was no secondary motion towards the ball, neither was there two separate instances of contact by the hand on the ball, as the referee believed.

The only contact was between the ball and the supporting arm while sliding, which is permissible, so he recommended an on-field review for no penalty. After seeing the footage at the RRA screen, the referee agreed with the VAR and rescinded the penalty.

On-field decision: Penalty kick.
Type of review: No penalty.
Final decision after review: No penalty – dropball.
Length of review: 4:10.

PRO’s Opinion: Any additional contact with the ball could be considered a secondary action, and a penalty kick could be awarded. However, this was not the case here because the contact with the ball happened when the arm was supporting the body.


POR vs LOU: Review for goal (handball in APP) – not given


What Happened: A goal was scored by Morgan Weaver (POR) and awarded by the on-field match officials. Prior to the goal, there were two potential handball incidents in the buildup.

During his check of the goal, the VAR determined that there was no clear and obvious error as Meghan Klingenberg (POR) gained possession of the ball. Later in the APP, he saw that the ball struck the hand of Adriana Leon (POR), which was away from her body and in an unnatural position and it helped her control the ball before crossing for the goal.

The VAR recommended an on-field review for the goal to be disallowed. After Video Review, the referee agreed, and play restarted with a direct free kick to Racing Louisville.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – handball.
Final decision after review: No goal.
Length of review: 3:20.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a good use of the Video Review system to reach the correct outcome.



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